St Ronan’s celebrate first Hogan Cup title
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.