Shane O’Neill’s 2-11 St Paul’s 1-13
Shane O’Neill’s just did enough in the end to sneak over the line and see off St Paul’s with one point to spare.
Both teams, particularly in the second half, went after the game and showed a will to win rather than a fear of losing. But unfortunately for St Paul’s, there had to be a loser.
With time almost up, St Paul’s had one hand on the Atty Hearty Cup and led by two points, but two is a dangerous lead heading down the stretch.
A long ball to the edge of the square from Ciaran Mackin, who spent the day at full back on Andrew Murnin, was flicked home to the net by Paul O’Rourke to put his side ahead by one.
That proved to the be final and fatal score that broke Lurgan hearts and sparked an outpouring of Shane O’Neill’s emotion.
It was a Shane’s side that done it without Greg McCabe, who received his marching orders after an off the ball incident with Declan Magee before the interval.
St Paul’s were also reduced to 14 at the end of the third quarter when Peadar Nash was sent to the line for another off the ball collision.
Shane’s got a dream start, netting inside the opening 20 seconds when the tactic of starting McCabe at full forward worked a treat.
Connaire Mackin launched a long ball in and after crashing with the keeper, McCabe gathered possession and fired home the game’s opening score.
St Paul’s battled back into contention and were the better team for the remainder of the half, but ten first half wides told the tale.
They did go in at the break ahead as Ryan Lawless played through Andrew Murnin, who buried to the net to put them ahead 1-6 to 1-3.
The second half made a for a thrilling contest, but Shane O’Neill’s could only get on level terms once and never led until the final minute.
Man of the match Ruairi O’Brien fired over two late scores, but credit must also go to keeper Conor McKeown who pulled up an outstanding save to give the Camlough men a chance.
And when the opportunity presented itself, they made hay and did enough to just sneak over the line in the end.