ST JOSEPH’S 2-12 ABBEY CBS 0-9
THE predatory instincts inside the square of full-forward Mattie McNally helped to fire St Joseph’s Donaghmore to an historic All-Ireland title on Saturday, his second half goal brace proving the decisive scores in their deserved triumph.
The Carrickmore attacker was twice in the right place at the right time to find the net with sharp finishes as the Tyrone school secured the Paddy Drummond Cup for the first time.
The omens hadn’t looked good for St Joseph’s at one stage in the first period. They wracked up seven wides before the break, as a much more clinical Abbey CBS Tipperary eased into a 0-5 to 0-2 lead approching the interval, but as has been the case all season, the Donaghmore boys kept their composure and belief to ride out the storm.
An early Cormac Drayne free and Grimes effort (which was fingertipped over the bar by Abbey keeper Robbie McGrath) handed St Joseph’s an early two point cushion, but the gap could have been much wider.
A sweeping move involving John McKenna and Darragh Donnelly in the tenth minute opened up an opportunity for McNally but his drilled shot could only find the side netting.
Orrin Jones floated over a wonderful score for the Tipp boys to eventually get them on the board, but it was Donaghmore who continued to carry the greater threat and Grimes was denied a goal at the near post when McGrath pulled off a stunning save.
There were signs that the Abbey were settling into the contest and between the 19th and 23rd minute they hit four points on the spin to jump out in front. Half-back Colin O’Grady began the scoring spree with a smart finish, before Jones fed midfielder Bill Quirke with a quick taken free and he tucked a shot between the sticks.
Cheered on by their vociferous and colourful supporters, Abbey were clicking through the gears now. Conall Grogan tagged on a free and then sub David Ryan also got in on the scoring act.
St Joseph’s needed a settler and Grimes provided it when planting a 29th minute free, and just on the half-time whistle it was Noah again wriggling clear of his pursuers to knock over a terrific effort on his left to leave one in it at half-time. (St Joseph’s 0-4 Abbey CBS 0-5).
The margin was stretched to three again as Jones (free) and Grogan registered for the Tipp boys on the restart, but from the 32nd minute onwards they were outscored 2-8 to 0-2 as Donaghmore wrested a complete grip on proceedings.
Grimes converted another free to reduce the deficit and then in the 39th minute St Joseph’s retook the lead. Darragh Donnelly surged in and fired a low shot across the square which was turned into the net by McNally reacting sharply to convert the loose ball.
A further brace of frees from Grimes and team captain Ronan Molloy left Donaghmore three in front- 1-7 to 0-7- and midway through the half that advantage was doubled when McNally swooped for his second goal. He got a foot to the ball ahead of the keeper to direct Molloy’s initial attempt to the net.
Despite another Jones pointed free, Abbey were now facing an uphill task but St Joseph’s were not going to be denied. Shane Scullion hoisted a superb score to further galvanise the Tyrone lads, while on the counter-attack that man Grimes added to his personal haul with two more scores, and Darragh Donnelly slipped over a couple of frees
TEAMS & SCORERS
St Joseph’s Donaghmore
Leo Quinn, Jude McNally, Ben Hughes, Conn Sweeney, James Rafferty, Joey Clarke, Conor O’Neill, Shane Scullion (0-1), John McKenna, Leo Hughes, Noah Grimes (0-7,3frees), Darragh Donaghy (0-2,2frees), Cormac Drayne (0-1,free), Mattie McNally (2-0), Ronan Molloy (0-1,free). Subs used: Caolan Donaghy for C Sweeney (49mins), Eoghan O’Neill for R Molloy (54), MJ Mansell for M McNally (57), Johnny Field for J McNally (59)
Abbey CBS Tipperary
Robbie McGrath, Gavin Cussen, Darragh O’Brien, Emmet Bonner, Eoin Doocey, Colin O’Grady (0-1), Paddy Downey, Bill Quirke (0-1), Stephen Dee, Shane O’Grady, Orrin Jones (0-4,3frees), Liam Carew, Cian O’Dwyer, Conall Grogan (0-2,1free), Joe O’Dwyer. Subs used: David Ryan (0-1) for P Downey (17 mins), Daniel O’Dwyer for J O’Dwyer (43), Conor Martin for G Cussen (49), Gavin O’Meara for C Grogan (54), Evan Kennedy for C O’Dwyer (56)
Referee: Alan Coyne, Westmeath
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