Dean Maguirc College produced a gutsy display at the home of Eire Óg hurlers before losing out to St Pius Magherafelt on a 2-13 to 2-8 scoreline in the Mc Larnon Cup with two late goals from the Derry school securing the win.
St Pius College started well with Conor Martin, Padraig Donaghy and Oisin Doherty leading the way they had the Dean on the back foot for most of the first half. Indeed had they been more clinical early on with their finishing they could have been out of sight at the short whistle.
Three well taken points from Doherty put them on top after less than six minutes. It seemed like the Magherafelt side were going to run away with the game but credit to the Dean they dug deep and with Kevin Cuddy and Shea Munroe leading the line they clawed their way back into the contest and with eighteen minutes of the first half gone led 0-4 to 0-3. However Doherty finished the half with three further points to send his team off at the break leading 0-6 to 0-4.
Dean were back out early for the restart but it was the St Pius lads who started the second half with real purpose. They established a vice like grip across the middle of the field and hit four points in a row to move six clear. The Dean were all at sea but a point from Sean Óg Teague steadied the ship and was followed up quickly by a goal from Shea Munroe. The introduction of Odhran Curran to the game lifted the crowd and the home team and when Curran fired over from a tight angle to leave a point between the two teams it was really game on.
A point from Callum Gribbin made it a two point game again in favour of the Magherafelt school but Sean Óg Teague fired over a point and a goal from Davagh Loughran changed the whole momentum of the game.
Dean goalkeeper Padraig Harvey made three outstanding saves to keep his team in front and another score from Curran stretched the gap to three points. The Derry side was now up against it but they finished the game strongly with two more points from the impressive Doherty and late goals from the wing half forward and substitute Jody Quinn sealed the win and secured a knockout spot for the Derry school.