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St. Louis Victory sets up Down School Derby in McLarnon Cup
Danske Bank Ulster Colleges McLarnon Cup Quarter-final
St. Louis Grammar School, Kilkeel 0-11
St. Mary’s CBS Belfast 0-09
Characteristics common to all successful teams would include ability, talent and a high degree of organization. However, add to this a steely resilience, coupled with a desire to succeed and you have the ingredients which make up the current St. Louis Grammar School, McLarnon Cup team.
St. Louis Coach Niall McAleenan had warned his charges of the need to perform to their best to see off the strong challenge of a fancied St. Mary’s CBS Belfast team. The players responded with a strong, determined performance bourn out of a highly committed winter training programme and a series of tough challenge games against quality opposition.
Played at Drumaness, St. Louis got off to a bright start in this Quarter-final McLarnon Cup tie with points from Ronan McAlinden and Piaras Kane. The accuracy of midfielder Ronan McAlinden was to be a key feature in deciding the outcome of this game. As the half wore on, it was the Belfast team who were gaining momentum. This demanded a strong response and discipline from the St. Louis defence mainly through strong defensive performances from Sean Gallagher, Tomas McInearney and Johnny Connolly. Kilkeel had started the game brightly and led by 0-3 to 0-1 after 11 minutes. However as St. Mary’s entered a purple patch towards to second quarter, both teams squandered scoring opportunities. However, the accuracy of the boot of St. Mary’s forwards James Connolly and Gareth George paid off as they landed 3 points each to put St Mary’s 0-7 to 0-4 ahead at the interval.
However, the half time break seemed to be a blessing for St. Louis as Niall McAleenan recharged his troops for the second half. The Kilkeel team seemed to move up a gear producing some quality football to circumvent the St. Mary’s defence. With St. Louis commanding the middle of the park through the efforts of Kory Colgan and Ronan McAlinden, who amassed eight points for the afternoon, the Kilkeel come back was most certainly on.
The extent of St. Louis organization was evident through the energetic support play of John Paul Farrell and Daithi Young, helping out with their defence whilst linking with the rest of the attack. With game all square at nine points apiece going into the last eight minutes it was obvious that it was the Kilkeel boys who had the momentum with them.
A James Reilly point five minutes from time, allowed the large travelling Kilkeel support to dream of a first semi final for St. Louis for four years. However, St. Mary’s were not going to gave it up without a challenge. As the game went into injury time St. Mary’s had a chance to steal the game with a goal bound effort somehow being blocked by St. Louis keeper Caolan Magee. To rub salt into their wounds the resulting play ended with Rona McAlinden scoring the final point of the game to land St. Louis a well earned and thoroughly deserved two point victory.
St. Louis Coach Niall McAleenan was full of praise for the character shown by his players, “Ronan McAlinden epitomized the character of this St. Louis team by leading by example. His talent and ability was obvious for all to see but he also showed the younger members the way forward. I was also particularly please with two of our younger members, Sean Gallagher and Piaras Kane for rising to meet the St. Mary’s challenge”. However, he continued to emphasis the spirit of this team being central to their victory, “These players, some new to the St. Louis and Ulster Colleges football, have bonded well, especially of the training sessions and challenge games during December and January. They will benefit from the intensity of this game against the quality of our opponents- St. Mary’s and it will provide a sound foundation for our semi final challenge in a few weeks time”.
The prize for this victory was a semi final pairing with local Down schools rival’s St. Patrick’s Downpatrick.
St Louis Kilkeel : Caolan Magee, John O’Rourke, Sean Gallagher, Shane Sloan, Conn Rooney, Tomás McInerney, Johnny Connolly, Ronan McAlinden 0-8, 0-5 frees, Kory Colgan, John Paul Farrell, James Reilly 0-1, Daithi Young, Piaras Kane 0-2, Gareth McDowell, Ryan Spiers.
Subs : Kevin Sloan for J O’Rourke, Ciaran McKay for R Spiers.
St Mary’s CBS Belfast : Domhnall Moran, Conor Mallon , Conor O’Rawe, Liam Laverty, Michael Brady, Ruairi Wilson, Domhnall Quinn, John Mallon, Liam McLarnon, Gary Coyle, Darren McCann, James Connolly 0-3, Gareth George 0-6, 0-5 frees, Conor Johnston, Sean Pat Donnelly.
Subs : Callum McVeigh for G Coyle, Gerard Walsh for M Brady.
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|Submited On:||10/02/2013||Posted On:||10/02/2013||Expires On:||10/02/2014|