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St Mary’s retain Mageean Cup after late surge sees off rivals

St MAry's 3-14 An Dun 1-13: St Mary’s Belfast retained their Danske Bank Mageean Cup in Casement Park with a 2-2 blast between the 51st and 53rd minutes of an excellent final.

And they needed just that to face down a superb effort from competition outsiders An Dun, who produced an excellent third quarter to overtake the half-time leaders.

A 41st minute goal from Rory Burns, when he fired to the net after a super save by Gerard Walsh from Eoghan Sands, put the Down side in to a 1-10 to 0-10 lead with St Mary’s having only added a point to their interval lead.

An Dun didn’t manage to add much to that score over the next 10 minutes of play as St Mary’s recovered their first half form.

Conor Johnston was hauled down for a 51st minute penalty which centre-half back Domhnall Moran hammered to the net.

James Connolly and Johnston pointed before the Down side had time to recover and then Aidan Orchin was on hand to take advantage of a fumble by goalie Sean Savage to grab a second goal.

Conor O’Neill and Pearse og McCrickard responded with points but time was running out for the challengers.

Then St Mary’s sub Deaglan Murphy killed the game by firing in a third goal with his very first touch.

The first 20 minutes saw the teams trade scores until it was 0-4 each.

Points from Callum McVeigh, Aidan Orchin and Conor Johnston opened an interval advantage of 0-9 to 0-6 to St Mary’s.

The third quarter belonged to the Down side, before the late surge gained St Mary’s their 27th crown and sent their noisy supporters into delirium in the packed stand.

St Mary’s: G Walsh, C Hanna, T O Ciaráin, C O’Rawe, D Quinn, D Moran (1-0 pen), M Napier, R Wilson (capt), L McLarnon, C Johnston (0-5, 0-3 frees), C McVeigh (0-2), J Connolly (0-1), A Orchin (1-2), G George (0-2), S Shannon (0-2).

Subs: S Gaskin for L McLarnon (43 minutes) and D Murphy (1-0) for G George (56 minutes).

An Dun: S Savage, C McAleenan, C Taggart, B Byers, J McGrath (0-1 free), C Costelloe, R Brannigan, R Campbell, C Fitzsimons (0-1), R Burns (1-0), C O’Neill (capt, 0-6, 0-3 frees), R Courtney, P og McCrickard (0-5, 0-3 frees), J Murphy, E Sands.

Subs: L Savage for C McAleenan (half-time) and R Watson for R Burns (58 minutes).

Referee: James McGrath (Westmeath)

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