MacRory Cup final
St. Mary’s Magherafelt 2-9
Holy Trinity Cooks town 0-8
Cargin trio, Conhuir Johnston, Benen Kelly and Tom Shivers made major contributions as St. Mary’s Magherafelt collected their second MacRory Cup title when they overcame the challenge of Holy Trinity Cookstown in an excellent final at the Atheletic Grounds yesterday.
First half goals from Niall O’Donnell and Cathir Quinn put the South Derry College in a strong position at half time and while Holy Trinity rallied after the break they were never able to get in for the goal that they needed to turn the game around.
The Magherafelt side struck first when O’Donnell burst through a couple of challenges and kept his composure to tuck the ball into the bottom corner in the third minute.
Ryan McEldowney’s point extended their lead, however Cookstown hit back through Shea Quinn and Ryan Quinn’s to close the gap but St. Mary’s struck a second deadly blow when Quinn found the bottom corner from close range on 14 minutes
Cookstown were finding it hard to turn possession into scores but late points from Shea Quinn and Ruairi McHugh gave them fresh impetus and reduced the deficit to three at the break.
On the restart Tom Shivers and Ruairi Forbes extended the St. Mary’s lead and as Holy Trinity tried to respond they were denied a goal chance by a resolute Magherafelt defence for whom Conall Herron and Eoin McAvoy were outstanding.
From the resulting turnover St. Mary’s broke and John Lavery and Joshua Cassidy fired over to put seven between the sides with 20 minutes to play.
Man of the match O’Donnell added a point to his early goal before Shea Lawn’s long-range free gave Holy Trinity a much-needed score as the game began to open up.
St. Mary’s looked in for a third goal but Cassidy hit the post with the goal at his mercy and O’Donnell’s was denied by goalkeeper Rian Smith from the rebound, and a second well-taken free from Lawn and a point from play by Terry Devlin’s gave the Tyrone school further hope.
That hope was soon dashed however as Lorcan Convery and O’Donnell replied with points for Kevin Brady’s side before O’Donnell was denied by a brilliant save from Smith in the closing stages.
A superb result for the Magherafelt college and they put the disappointment of defeat for their ladies side by Colaiste Oiriall in the PPS final on Thursday behind them to turn in a superb performance and claim their second MacRory Cup win.
The strong connection between the school and players from South West Antrim continues with Cargin trio Benen Kelly, Conhuir Johnston and Tom Shivers all taking their place in the starting line-up and playing their part in a famous victory while Sean Byrne from Portglenone, Paul Duffin from Moneyglass and Sean McAuley from Creggan were amongst the substitutes.
Kevin Brady from Moneyglass once again managed the side and had Cargin manager Ronan Devlin amongst the coaching staff. Portglenone’s new manager John McKeever is the man who led Holy Trinity to their first MacRory final and while he will be disappointed with the result, his side certainly played their part in an excellent final.
St Mary’s Grammar School, Magherafelt: James Gribbin, Conall Heron, Niall Rafferty, Simon Matterson, Ronan Walls, Eoin McEvoy (capt), Ruairi Forbes (0-1), Lorcan Convery (0-1), Ryan McEldowney (0-1), Benen Kelly, Conhuir Johnston, John Lavery (0-1), Cahir Quinn (1-0), Tom Shivers (0-1), Niall O’Donnell (1-3).
Replacements: Tiarnan McOscar, Lorcan Bradley, Daniel Kelly, Richard Drain, Sean Byrne, Joshua Cassidy (0-1), Aodhan Young, Daniel Quinn, Ronan Mawhinney, Paul Duffin, Niall Baine, Sean McAuley, Diarmuid Mullholland, Conall Higgins, Luke Burns, Eunan Crozier, Ethan Canavan, Darragh Young, Callum Campbell, Jaie Wilson, Adam Maher, Ciaran McKenna, Iarfhlaith McKeating.
Holy Trinity College, Cookstown: Rian Smith, Shane Hughes, Callan Kelly, Luke Cullen, Michael Devlin, Brian Hampsey, Conan Devlin, Ruairi McHugh (capt) (0-2), Blian Ryan, Odhran O’Driscoll, Shea Quinn (0-2), Jack Martin, Shea Lawn (0-2), Peter Loughran, Michael McElhatton.
Replacements: Conall Quinn, Mark Donnelly, Sean O’Hare, Keegan Hampsey, Ronan Devlin, Rhys Donnelly, Rian Nelis, Odhran Nugent, Daniel Woodhead, Karol McGuigan, Cormac Woods, Terry Devlin (0-1), Keelan Quinn, Shea Hamilton, Ryan Conway, Conal McKenna, Ryan Quinn (0-1), John Lagan, Conor Talbot, Ronan Coney, Shea McNamee, Cathal Heagney.