The Maghera squad pictured before Tuesday's win over Holy Trinity.
St Patrick’s Maghera 2-13
Holy Trinity Cookstown 3-7
Goalkeeper Zak Scullion was the Maghera hero after his diving save denied Caolan Mulgrew a stoppage time goal that would’ve levelled this feisty affair in Cookstown on Tuesday afternoon.
The Derry side hit the last four scores to take an unlikely three point lead going into stoppage time.
Then in the 63rd minute, when Eunan O’Neill’s free dropped into a crowded Maghera goalmouth, Mulgrew swung a leg in a bid to score a third Holy Trinity goal but Scullion denied him.
It was a first outing for St Patrick’s, with Holy Trinity having already lost to St Eunan’s in their first game.
The Holy Trinity squad.
Cookstown settled first and a goal from Magherafelt Rossa player Aodhan O’Loughlin, after Scullion had saved his initial shot, put them into a 1-1 to 0-0 lead.
Maghera were dominant on their own kick-outs but couldn’t break down Holy Trinity's defence. It took a majestic Charlie Diamond score, from out on the wing, to get them off the mark.
Sean Kearney’s first goal put Maghera ahead (1-3 to 1-1) midway through the half. The Swatragh man's dipping effort from the wing dropped into the top corner of the net.
With two minutes to the break, Shea Quinn goaled for Holy Trinity when his shot pinged in off the bottom of the post putting them narrowly ahead - 2-3 to 1-5.
Three minutes into the second-half, Sean Kearney took a pass from Marc Dixon before hammering home a Maghera goal to put them in front, 2-6 to 2-3
Their lead was short-lived. When Cookstown pushed up and turned over a Maghera kick-out, Quinn found the net for a second time and his side were in the lead, 3-4 to 2-6.
The game ebbed the flowed in a tightly contested final quarter and when Cookstown closed down another Maghera short kick-out, Ben Donnelly's point put Holy Trinity into the lead.
Their running game began to open up St Patrick’s who survived a scare when Blaine Ryan’s shot rebounded off the bar and a Maghera defender fouled the ball on the ground, but play was moved on.
Kearney held his nerve to level the game from a free before Marc Dixon put Maghera into the lead in the 60th minute. Kearney kicked them into a two point lead from a long range score before Cahir Higgins’ fisted point on the run put daylight between the teams.
Still Holy Trinity came on the charge to save the game and they would’ve done so only for Scullion’s late heroics.
Maghera: Zak Scullion; Oisin McClafferty, Aaron McGuckin; PJ McAleese; Michael Farren, Conan Milne, Lee Brady; Seamus McKenna, Shea Murray; Sean O’Neill, Ethan Doherty, Charlie Diamond (0-4, 3f); Sean Kearney (2-3, 2f), Marc Dixon (0-3), Cahir Higgins (0-3, 1f).
Subs: Tiernan Higgins, Liam Downey.
Holy Trinity: Shea Lawn; Jack Hamilton, Caolan Mulgrew, Callan Devlin; Niall Connolly, Patrick Quinn, Niall Devlin; Blaine Ryan (0-1), Aodhan O’Loughlin (1-0); Eunan O’Neill (0-2f), Aidan McAleer, Caolan McLaughlin; Shea Quinn (2-2, 1f); Peter McGurk (0-1), Thomas Doris.
Subs: Ben Donnelly (0-1), Shea Loughran, Jack Convery.
Ref: Sean McGuigan (Slaughtneil).
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