Dean Maguirc Lift Mc Devitt Cup
Dean Maguirc College claimed the Mc Devitt Cup on Thursday afternoon following a very exciting final at Ardboe that saw them defeat St Conor’s of Derry 2-9 to 1-6.
The winners came from 1-2 to no score down after twenty one minutes to level the game at the short whistle before pulling away in the second half to win 2-9 to 1-6.
St Conor’s won the toss and played with the breeze in the first half. Dean Maguirc looked nervous early on as St Conor’s bossed the early possession and the Carrickmore school were relieved that goalkeeper Caolan Tracey’s kickouts proved very effective against the wind during the opening thirty minutes. Defensively with Michael Gallagher, Eoghan Conway and Ciaran Mc Crystal in outstanding form, the Derry side found it hard to create scoring chances.
Points from Caoimhan Mc Nally and Tom Duffin and a fortuitous goal from the boot of Conrad Mullan helped put St Conor’s five clear with twenty one minutes on the clock. Although they trailed by five there was no sense of panic among the Dean players as midfield pairing Padraig Mc Crystal and Padraig Donaghy took control of the midfield area and Caolan Grimes, Pearse Mc Donald and Shane Morris asked questions of the Derry defence with their strong running and creative build up play.
With five minutes of the first half remaining corner forward Odhran Curran opened his team’s account with a fine point. Two minutes later the same player was on hand again to finish a well worked team move to the net to leave a single point between the sides.
There was still time for one more attack and Ryan Donaghy rounded off a superb Dean Maguirc comeback with a great point into the wind to leave the teams tied at the break 1-2 apiece.
The Derry lads began the second half in determined mood hitting two points in their first two attacks. Frank Mc Aleese and Tom Duffin were the players on target and just for a few minutes the Dean looked rattled. However the full back line of Rory Woods, Padraig Harvey and Conan Slane turned the game with some excellent defending and within four minutes the Dean were ahead. Curran bagged another point before full forward Fitzgerald’s hard work was rewarded.
With six minutes of the second half gone centre back Michael Gallagher, who was outstanding in defence,found himself deep in enemy territory and when the chance presented itself he finished the ball to the net to put the Dean in front for the first time in the game.
Ben Donnelly(2) and Pearse Mc Donald swapped points before a strong finish from Dean Maguirc saw them hit four points in a row from Donaghy, Curran, Fitzgerald and Mc Donald to secure the title on a final score of Dean Maguirc College 2-9, St Conor’s 1-6.