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Danske Bank Corn Cúchulainn final: St Columban’s Kilkeel 1-7 St Joseph’s Coalisland 0-5

Friday 2nd March 2018

Danske Bank Corn Cúchulainn final: St Columban’s Kilkeel 1-7 St Joseph’s Coalisland 0-5
A 45th minute goal, the first score of the second half, decided this Danske Bank Corn Cúchulainn final and gave St Columban’s Kilkeel their first and only title at this level.
With the education provision due to change in the town next year St Columban’s won’t get a chance to defend this crown won with great courage in difficult weather condition in the grounds of Abbey CBS.
St Columban’s captain Christopher Flanagan was the outstanding player over the hour with good support from his youngest team-mate Niall Burden, while in the second half the packed defence always appeared in control.
St Joseph’s seemed to play in spells, and were not able to take control like their opponents. However their battling spirit meant that they had opportunities to get in behind the cover but they shot a lot of wides especially during the second half.
St Columban’s registered three points before Liam Cushnahan opened Coalisland account in the 15th minute. Then Kilkeel took off again with three more points from Flanagan, Cormac McComb and Cormac Clarke.
However Kilkeel stuttered before the break, conceding three times in injury time with poor deliveries in defence handing points to Ruairi Campbell (2) and Liam Cushnahan.
Trailing 0-6 to 0-4 with the wind behind them for the next half-hour, they looked to have a great chance of taking the title.
However Kilkeel dug in, held them scoreless for much of the half and in the 46th minute broke for the decisive score.
Cormac Clarke’s shot came off the post and sub Sean Kelly was on hand to finish from close range. From then on there was no way back for St Joseph’s. Clarke and Oisin Brady swapped points as Steven Poacher’s team saw the game out.
St Columban’s : Curtis Flanagan, L Keenan, J Devlin, R Smyth, J Nicholls, M Brennan, R McAlinden, C Clarke 0-2 frees, Christopher Flanagan 0-2, M Stevenson, C McComb 0-2, R Flanagan, N Burden 0-1, R Higgins, S Small.
Subs : S Kelly 1-0 for M Stevenson.
St Joseph’s : S Conlon, S McErlean, C O’Neill, R McCann, J McErlean, L Cushnahan 0-2 frees, C McErlean, D Corr, S Coney, M Robinson, Ruairi Campbell 0-2, O Brady 0-1, R Timlin, J O’Hagan, S McGrath
Subs : Ryan Campbell for S McGrath
Referee : Oliver Hearty