St Colman's win Ben Dearg Shield
BEN DEARG SHIELD (1st Year Schools Football)
St Colman's 4-14, Abbey CBS 2-6.
Ballyholland Harps hosted the Ben Dearg Final on Thursday 23 June in Fr Lynch Park. A fine contest showed some good football from both sides with St Colman's greater teamwork proving the difference in the end.
Abbey trailed by a single point at the end of the first half, having gone into an early 1-3 to no score lead by the 15th minute. The scoring spree was led by the accurate boot of Ronan Fegan (Burren).
When Cullaville's Ryan Garvey opened the scoring for St Colman's, they added further points from Rian O'Neill (Crossmaglen) and Matthew McCreesh (Cullaville). Jack Mc Cartan (Glenn) scored a goal to level the scores before a kicking over the leading point for the College. Good defending from Shea Murtagh (Ballyholland), kept the Abbey in the game and with Blaine McGrath (Rostrevor) a handful at full forward there was always a threat going forward. Jason Sloan (Warrenpoint) found the net for the Abbey in the second half after St Colman's had stretched their lead to 10 points with scores from sub Aaron Gribben (Mayobridge) and Conor Woods (Clonduff).
The game was over after Conor O'Neill (Killeavey) found midfielder Evan Crummie(Ballyhegan) for another St Colman's goal with 5 minutes remaining. Abbey full back Aidan Mc Namara (Bosco) tried hard to stem the tide as the College No 3 Mark Braniff (Dromara) swept forward with James McKee(Eire Og) and Sean Mc Carthy (Clann Eireann) supporting the attack.
This was an entertaining game played in a great sporting manner, with lots of promising young players on view.
For the traditional local Newry derby, it was interesting to note that more than half the players on the pitch were Armagh men!