HOW, THEN, to sum this one up? A game of 17 goals as Loreto Community School, Milford won the Danske Bank Corn Mac Neasa for the first time.
Loreto Community School, Milford 9-18 St Clare’s College, Ballyjamesduff 8-06
By the time Sean McCartan called full-time in a crazy, goal-filled encounter, those on the sidelines had their calculators out, confirming a 15-point win for the Oliver Walsh-managed Loreto against St Clare’s of Ballyjamesduff.
Who said attacking football was a thing of a previous era?
It was a wild and eccentric contest with Loreto bagging nine of the goals, four in the first half and five in the second.
Steve McDaid, their captain, helped himself to 3-5, Shane Black notched a brace of goals and Aaron Reid, Conor Black, Ciaran Moore and Rory O’Donnell all raised green flags.
Substitute Joshua Murdoch, who had been deemed unfit, brought the Cavan side back into it with a hat-trick inside four minutes in the home straight.
Murdoch’s hat-trick came at a time when it was nigh-on impossible to keep a track of a contest that seed and sawed throughout an exciting second half.
Loreto appeared to have cooked St Clare’s goose with a three-goal haul inside of 70 seconds from the sixth minute.
Shane Black started the ball rolling when he got on the end of Johnny McGroddy’s ball in to fire home.
Just 40 seconds later, Shane Black was the provider and Conor Black was the scorer, a superb finish giving Cian Muldoon, the St Clare’s goalkeeper, no chance.
Loreto were in dreamland when Conor Black fed Moore, after a move that was started by Eamonn O’Donnell inside the Loreto half, and Moore’s finish was expert.
St Clare’s hit a goal back almost instantly when captain Adam Charters riffled high beyond John Matthews, but the bustling McDaid, a menace on the edge of the square, punched home at the other end from Shane Black’s dropping ball.
McGroddy was proving a real livewire for Loreto and the Downings man’s trickery was one of the game’s impressive features.
Having seemed out of touch, St Clare’s would have been happy enough to only be seven behind at the break, aided by Evan Cribben’s goal late in the first half.
It was in the third quarter that Loreto really made the hay, scoring 3-6 in that spell to move well ahead.
Aaron Friel and McDaid struck goals within two minutes of the re-start and McDaid’s hat-trick arrived in the 44th minute; a fine finish after brilliant approach play by Conor Black.
In between the majors, McDaid (2), Conor Coll, Stephen Black, McGroddy (2), Conor Black all tacked on points and they led by 20 points at that stage, 7-13 to 3-5.
Loreto lost goalkeeper Matthews when he was black carded for a foul on Leighton Lyons in the 39th minute. Aodh McBride stepped in, but his first task was to pick the ball from his net as Cian McCabe drilled the penalty to the bottom corner.
Four quick-fire goals, three of them by Murdoch and the other from Lyons, had St Clare’s flirting with the notion of a comeback, but Shane Black had tapped in an eighth goal for Loreto.
Even if Cribben netted his second of the game, Loreto finished well with Stephen Black surging clear to score the Milford scholar’s ninth goal of the afternoon and late scores off the boots of McDaid (2), Shane Black and Coll arrived before finally breath could be drawn and the sums totted.
They actually could, and should have had more goals: O’Donnell shot wide from a glorious position in the first half, McGroddy was thwarted by a brave save from Muldoon and McDaid rattled a powerful effort off the underside of the St Clare’s crossbar in the second half.
It mattered little in the end up, though as Loreto took the silverware, something they’ll toast again during the school’s 50th anniversary celebrations this year.
It’s unlikely that this one will be forgotten for a while.
Loreto Community School, Milford: John Matthews; Tiarnan McBride, Bobby McGettigan, Bruce McCauley; Aaron Reid (1-0), Conor Coll (0-2), Eamonn O’Donnell; Ethan Cullen, Stephen Black (1-0); Ciaran Moore (1-1), Rory O’Donnell (0-1), Conor Black (1-2); Shane Black (2-2, 1f), Steve McDaid (3-5), Johnny McGroddy (0-5, 3f). Subs: Kyle McFadden for Moore (37), Aodh McBride for Matthews (black card, 39), Dean McBride for T.McBride (42)
St Clare’s College, Ballyjamesduff: Cian Muldoon; Christian Venckos, Warren Mulvey, Aarton Cooke; Sean Harten, James Brady, Rory Smith; Adam Charters (1-1), Dylan Harten; Evan Cribben (2-0), Cian McCabe (1-2, 1pen, 2f), Leighton Lyons (1-2); Conor Coyle, Dwayne Mulvey, Thomas McDonald (0-1). Subs: Kevin Tierney for Cooke (19), Joshua Murdoch (3-0, 1f) for S.Harten (21), Mark Fitzsimmons for D.Harten (47), Jamie Masterson for Coyle (50), Finn Heaslip for Venckos (55).
Referee: Sean McCartan (Tyrone).Tags: