Hogan Cup Final Report


Hogan Cup final: Omagh CBS 3-14 Mercy Mounthawk 0-11

With an emphatic second half performance, inspired by the brilliance of midfielder Charlie Donnelly, Omagh CBS retained the Hogan Cup in clinical style, comprehensively dispatching Mercy Mounthawk in the All-Ireland Colleges senior ‘A football final at Croke Park.

When the defending champions only took a one-point lead to the interval (0-7 to 0-6), and would start the second half with influential centre-forward Ruairí McCullagh in the sin-bin, the destination of the spoils appeared to be in the melting pot.

However, the Tralee school couldn’t raise a gallop on the resumption, hindering their own assault on the title with terrible defensive errors that proved to be so, so costly. As the Mounthawk mistakes mounted up, Omagh CBS were in no mood to look a gift horse in the mouth.

A handling error by Mercy Mounthawk corner-back James Fisher allowed Omagh full-forward Paudí Dillon to blast home his side’s first goal in the 40th minute and, six minutes later, came the second hammer blow for the Kingdom representatives.

On this occasion, after initially preventing Dillon from finding the net again, Michael Tansley saving from point-blank range, wing-back Pádraig O’Halloran’s intended hand-pass to a team-mate was cleverly intercepted by the returning McCullagh, who easily slotted home.

Now eight points adrift (2-9 to 0-7) heading into the last quarter, there was no way back for Mercy Mounthawk. Unable to get a grip of the midfield battle – man-of-the-match Donnelly finishing with 0-5 from play, his partner Eoin Donaghy adding 0-2 for good measure – Omagh CBS were now rampant.

Captain Callum Daly was also a redoubtable figure for Omagh CBS at the heart of the defence, and when McCullagh struck for his second goal in the 56th minute, Diarmuid McNulty’s now utterly dominated charges were home and dry, for a well-deserved success.

A shell-shocked Mercy Mounthawk never threw in the towel but, devoid of the injured Jack Murphy’s steadying presence at centre-back, Aidan O’Shea’s side had no answer to the excellence of the winners in the second half, though they will clearly rue helping them along their way.

Scorers for Omagh CBS: R McCullagh 2-2 (0-1mk), P Dillon 1-3 (0-1mk), C Donnelly 0-5, E Donaghy, L Óg Mossey(fs) 0-2 each.

Scorers for Mercy Mounthawk: P Lane 0-6 (0-1mk, 0-4fs), O Ferris 0-2, N Collins, S Corkery, T Kennedy(mk) 0-1 each.

OMAGH CBS: O Watson (Fintona); B Lynch (Castlederg), B Gallagher (Dromore), S McCann (Beragh); N Farry (Trillick), C Daly (Omagh), M Corcoran (Killyclogher); E Donaghy (Loughmacrory), C Donnelly (Trillick); O Teague (Dromore), R McCullagh (Loughmacrory), J Law (Dromore); N McCarney (Drumragh), P Dillon (Dromore), L Og Mossey (Gortin).

Subs: J Edgar (Dromore) for Teague (55), M Howe (Killyclogher) for Dillon (60), A McGurren (Dromore) for McCarney (60+1).

MERCY MOUNTHAWK: M Tansley (Austin Stacks); G O’Riordan (Ardfert), O McGibney (Churchill), J Fisher (Austin Stacks); P O’Halloran (Austin Stacks), B Murphy (Austin Stacks), O Murphy (Churchill); D Kirby (Austin Stacks), C O’Gara (Churchill); N Collins (Ballymacelligott), O Ferris (Ardfert), S Corkery (John Mitchels); P Lane (Austin Stacks), T Kennedy (Kerins O’Rahillys), N Townsend (Austin Stacks).

Subs: K Sheehan (Na Gaeil) for Townsend (50), B Sharp (St Pat’s Blennerville) for Fisher (55), J Hoare (Kerins O’Rahillys) for O’Gara (55), T O’Sullivan (Ardfert) for Corkery (60+1), B Byrne (Austin Stacks) for O’Halloran (60+1).

Referee: D Gough (Meath).

Report courtesy of the Irish Examiner

Click here for more photographs taken at the game by Chris Eccles

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