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St Pat's left full of regret after lacking authority


The biggest disappointment for Maghera is that they simply didn't perform.

When you come away from Croke Park knowing that you were beaten by a better team, in the way that Navan would have gone away last year, then it's easier to look back. It will be hard for this St. Patrick's team to look back on Saturday afternoon without regret.

But while they were leggy and lacking in intensity at times, you have to hand massive credit to Pobalscoil Chorca Dhuibhne.

It was as if they carried the hopes of a whole county on their young shoulders.

"Believe it or not, our county needed that," enthused one Kerryman at the final whistle.

They carried the pressure of trying to win their first Hogan Cup magnificently.

While a couple of late decisions that were crucial went against Maghera, they could have no complaints about the result.

Manager Paul Hughes was typically honest and forthright in admitting that the better team had put their name on the new trophy first.

That certainly didn't look like it would be the case at half-time. Maghera enjoyed their best spell of the game off the back of Conor Glass' goal and built themselves a 1-4 to 0-1 lead heading towards the interval.

Tomás Ó Sé's score just before the break reduced the gap to five but Dhuibhne didn't deserve to be five points down.

They were five behind partly due to their failure to take early chances. Chorca Dhuibhne had all of the first 12 minutes but when Paul Gunning's magnificent pass opened them up for Conor Glass to find the net, it was the game's first score.

Cathal Ó Bambaire, marked out as the dangerman, almost netted at the other end with his first touch.

He got away down the endline and cut back on to his left foot, but his low shot from the angle was straight at Ciaran McCloy. It hit the keeper's knees and rebounded off Oisin Hegarty to safety.

And Hegarty, it must be said, was terrific again. The Glen man picked up where he had left off in the semi-final, when he stunted Colaiste Eoin's talisman Conn Ó Ceallachain. That early goal chance for Ó Bambaire was about the only sight of goal he had all day. He hardly had a sight of the ball, never mind the goal.

Dhuibhne trailed by 1-4 to 0-2 at half-time but they were buoyed right at the start of the second half by a terrific goal from Roibeard Ó Sé.

A shot from Conchúr Ó Geibhannaigh hung short in the air and fell just between the 21' and 13'.

Ó Sé met it on the run as it dropped to his chest and, with McCloy expecting him to go across goal, the An Ghaeltacht man side-footed a superb finish in at the near post. The side managed by Eamonn Fitzmaurice went on to lead three times in the final quarter of the game as they lifted the trophy for the first time in the school's history.

For Maghera, the dream of emulating the teams of 1989 and 1990 by winning back-to-back Hogan Cups was dashed. And they couldn't complain.

Scorers for Maghera: C Glass 1-1, D Tallon 0-2, P McAtamney 0-1, C Cassidy 0-1, C Convery 0-1f

Scorers for Chorca Dhuibhne: R Ó Sé 1-0, S Ó Muircheartaigh 0-3 (0-2f), T Ó Suilleabhain 0-2f, B Ó Suilleabhain 0-1, M Ó Flatharta 0-1, T Ó Sé 0-1

St. Patrick's Maghera: C McCloy; P McNeill, O Hegarty, C McNeill; C O'Doherty, P Hagan, M McGrath, C Mulholland; C Glass, C Cassidy; J Doherty, D Tallon, P McAtamney; P Gunning, C Convery. Subs: B Cassidy for McAtamney (58), S Quinn for Mulholland (59)

Pobalscoil Chorca Dhuibhne: D O Conchuir; T O Suilleabhain, B O Beaglaoich; C O Beaglaoich, S O Gairbhia, C O Suilleabhain, M O Flatharta; B O Suilleabhain, M O Conchuir; T O Se, B O Raoil, R O Se; C O Geibheannaigh, C O Bambaire, S O Muircheartaigh. Subs: C Ó Mhurchu for Ó Geibhannaigh (36), S Ó Bambaire for Ó Raoil (53), T de Brún for O Muircheartaigh (53)

Referee: G McCormack (Dublin).

Belfast Telegraph


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