The wining Magherafelt squad.
A late penalty from Dungiven's Niall McGonagle wasn't enough to stop Magherafelt in Monday's U18.5 final at Ballinascreen
DERRY U18.5 A FINAL
Magherafelt came into the decider following impressive wins over fancied Glen and Bellaghy teams, but were pushed all the way by a Dungiven team that came with a late rally in the closing minutes.
Points from Niall and Cormac Bateson, Dan Higgins and a Niall Bateson goal in the 18th minute opened up a five-point lead for the Rossas. Three well taken points from Eoin Higgins and a number of excellent saves from Dungiven goalkeeper Kian McGonigle kept Dungiven in touch at half time.
Early in the second half McGonigle again kept out a Dan Higgins shot with the crossbar also denying Rory Clarke.
The Rossas were unable to make their dominance count on the scoreboard. Padraig Hasson reduced the gap to two points before long range points from Darragh Wade, Cormac Bateson and Rory Clarke opened a five-point lead for the Rossas going into the closing stages.
Frees from Eoin Higgins and Padraig Hasson reduced the deficit to three points but a second superb point from Rossa substitute Michael McKay stretched the Rossa lead to four points before late drama.
In the final minute referee Richie Donoghue awarded a penalty to Dungiven for a foul on Padraig Hasson and Niall McGonagle’s well placed shot reduced the gap to the minimum.
From the resultant kick-out, Dan Higgins fielded and seconds later the Rossas were deserving but relieved champions.
MAGHERAFELT SQUAD: Michael Mullan, Tiernan Loughran, Conall Heron, Luke McCann, Lorcan Bradley, Eoin McEvoy, Conor Grimes, Dan Higgins, Cormac Bateson, Jamie Gribben, Rory Clarke, Darragh Wade, Ben Diamond, Niall Bateson, Ronan Walls, Padraig McKee, John Lavery, Paddy Lavery, Callum Campbell, Oisin Quinn, Pearse McGurk, Aaron Murray, Ryan Lennox, Michael McKay, Cahir Quinn, Odhran Crozier
Magherafelt joint captains Dan Higgins and Eoin McEvoy with the cup.
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