Ryan Brogan on the ball for Abbey VS in the Markey Cup final Picture: Thomas Gallagher
Abbey VS, Donegal Town were not able to sustain their first half display as they went down in the end by three points to St Columbs, Derry in the Danske Bank Markey Cup final in O’Donnell Park, Letterkenny today
Abbey VS 3-5
St Columbs, Derry 2-11
It was a disappointing end for the Donegal boys, especially after a very good first half showing.
Abbey led by two points at half-time after a pretty evenly contested first half. Shaun Kennedy and Cian Hegarty scored the goals for the Donegal town nursery with Tiernan O’Kane hitting the net at the other end.
St Columbs, through Fergal Mortimer, were the first to score when the centre-half-forward pointed from a close-in free.
But Abbey hit the next two scorers courtesy of two Cian Hegarty converted frees as they led 0-2 to 0-1 with eight minutes on the clock.
But they were rocked soon after when Tiernan O’Kane found a gap in the right wing of the Abbey defence before firing past Enda O’Hagan on 11 minutes.
But the Abbey response was a positive one with Richard O’Rourke releasing Shaun Kennedy for a super goal.
Abbey were now back in front with a quarter hour on the clock and with Jamie Crawford landing two quick points they moved into a three point lead, 1-4 to 1-1 with 21 minutes on the clock.
And things got better for Michael Leydon’s young charges when Cian Hegarty polished off a brilliant move with a super goal.
Daniel Gallagher took the ball up the left wing and found Shaun Kennedy with an inch perfect pass. Kennedy squared across the small rectangle and Hegarty had the simple task of tapping to an empty net.
The goal opened up a six point lead 2-4 to 1-1 with a little over seven minutes remaining in the half.
This was a big score as it came after Jamie Crawford got back to clear off his own line with O’Hagan beaten.
But Abbey did not score again in the half as St Columbs clawed their way back into the game with three converted Mortimer frees and one from play from Eoghan Cassidy.
Half-time score 2-4 to 1-5.
Jude Og Moore scored the first point of the second half to reduce the Abbey lead to one. Further points from Shay Brown and Tiarnan O’Kane put the Derry college a point ahead after 43 minutes.
Abbey were back in front three minutes later when captain Jamie Crawford broke through to fire home a third Abbey goal.
But the lead was shortlived as Fergal Mortimer pointed before substitute Ciaran Concannon, with his first touch, had the ball in the Abbey net on 52 minutes.
Cian Hegarty responded with a free, the only other Abbey score of the half, but just as they did in the first half, St Columbs finished well with points from Brown and James Lynch.
Abbey were going for goals a little too early in the half although they did have claims for a penalty when Daniel Gallagher seemed to be impeded.
ABBEY VS: Enda O'Hagan; Shane Meehan, Brian Fegan, Aidan McHugh; Ryan Brogan, Michael Coughlan, Richard O'Rourke; Jamie Crawford (1-2,1f) , Oisin Reid; Cathal Feeney, Michael Statham, Daniel Gallagher; Shay Travers, Cian Hegarty (1-3,3f), Shaun Kennedy (1-0).
Subs: Ian Campbell for S Travers 47; Alex McCalmont for C Feeney 51; Thomas White for S Kennedy 58;
ST COLUMB’S: Matthew Stephenson; Michael Lynch, Naoise Meenan, Patrick Nelis; Conor McLaughlin, Shane McElhinney, Tiernan O’Kane (1-1); Conor Mooney, James Lynch (0-1); Ryan Brown, Fergal Mortimer (0-4,4f), Eoghan Cassidy (0-1); Cathir McMonagle, Jude Og Moore (0-1), Shay Brown (0-3).
Subs: Ciaran Concannon (1-0) for J Og Moore 51; Donnacha Gilmore for R Brown 61
REFEREE: Mark Loughlan (Tyrone)