St Ro­nan’s cel­e­brate first Ho­gan Cup ti­tle

Sunday Independent (Ireland) - Sport - - RACING -

ST RO­NAN’S Col­lege of Lur­gan are Ho­gan Cup cham­pi­ons for the first time in their history af­ter over­com­ing West­port’s Rice Col­lege 1-10 to 1-9 in Croke Park.

Rice Col­lege led by two at half-time by virtue of a sixth-minute goal from Keith Joyce, who jumped high­est in a for­est of bod­ies to flick Jack Car­ney’s driven ’45 to the net. The sides went score-for-score for the re­main­der of the open­ing pe­riod, Oisín Smyth and Eoin McConville land­ing some fine ef­forts for St Ro­nan’s and Stephen Lof­tus tag­ging on three frees for Rice.

Ro­nan’s struck back early in the sec­ond half when Smyth’s at­tempt on goal was half-blocked down and mid­fielder Tier­nan Kelly fired the loose ball to the net. They were level three times there­after in a tight sec­ond half, fine points from Rioghan Mee­han and Adam Loughran matched by Rice scores from Mark Mo­ran and cap­tain Pat Lam­bert.

It would take a ma­jes­tic point from the out­stand­ing Smyth to de­cide the tie. He sent a shot swerv­ing over from way out un­der the Ho­gan Stand to edge Ro­nan’s in front with five min­utes to go and the Ar­magh young­sters held on to take the crown. for 2019. Af­ter lev­el­ling the open­ing con­test at one set all, Both­well broke 21-year-old Duraso­vic for a 4-2 lead in the de­cider and then forged 5-3 in front.

But in the ninth game the home player coura­geously saved two match points and had a break point of his own be­fore Both­well reeled off the next three points to close out the match.

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