MacRory Cup Final Flashback
Tuesday, 14 March 2017
ST Colman's are going for the 20th MacRory Cup and manager Cathal Murray will no doubt remember, and take heart, from the years 2010 and 2011 when his Violet Hill lads triumphed.
And indeed not only did the College win back-to-back MacRory Cup in those two years but they also won back-to-back Hogan Cups, on each occasion with Cathal Murray in charge, admittedly with lots of help from that knowledgeable trio of Declan Mussen, Barry Kelly and Eamon McEvoy
In 2011 MacRory Final at Armagh's Athletic Grounds St Colman's defeated St Pat's Academy, Dungannon with a slender 2-09 to 2-08 scoreline in what surely must have been one of the all-time great MacRory finals. It was edge-of-the-seat, heart-stopping stuff especially in the last five minutes when the Tyrone team came hunting for an equaliser.
However, the final will be remembered in the College for a tremendous display from two-goal Caolan Mooney, the same Mooney who is currently on fire for the Down team.
Yet for all the Rostrevor lad's heroics, it was the powerful College full back Niall Donnelly who won the Iggy Jones Man of the Match award. Also starring in that win was the Kilcoo brothers Ryan and Jerome Johnston.
Early on St Pat's pushed the pace but midway through the opening half Niall Donnelly and skipper Connor Gough combined to set up Jerome Johnson who in turn swiftly played in the predatory Mooney who raced clear before cracking home a superb goal from 15 yards.
And with 20 minutes to go Ballyholland halfback Kealan Haughey joined Jerome Johnston and Connor Gough to set up the lightning-fast Mooney who surged past two Dungannon defenders before blasting a searing drive high into the net.
Another point-scorer that day was 15-year-old Shamrock's lad Jack Haughey, one of the youngest players ever to play in a MacRory Cup Final.
Cathal Murray said after the game: "The win is a great testament to the character of the team. I went through a range of emotions today. The boys were so cool in the final minutes and showed marvellous composure in keeping the ball."
ST COLMAN'S 2011 TEAM: Matthew McNeice, Miceal O'Hare Niall Donnelly, Ruairi Lively, Darryl Brannigan, Eamon Magee, Kealan Haughey, Ryan Johnston, Connor Gough, Tony McGreevy, Pearse Casey, Caolan Mooney, Shay McArdle, Jerome Johnston and Jack Haughey with sub: Patrick Morgan.
College defeat the team that couldn't be beaten
ONE year before the St Pat's victory the College defeated Omagh CBS with a 1-14 to 1-06 scoreline. And this win was even more of an achievement as the pundits were saying Omagh were 'the team that couldn't be beaten.'
But at Casement Park the College produced a sensational performance to simply outclass their rivals. It was the first time the Violet Hill boys had won the cup in 11 years.
Newry Shamrock's big midfielder Connor Gough won the Iggy Jones Man of the Match award for his incessant hard graft and ball-winning ability but he must have been run close by skipper Niall McParland, goal-man Caolan Mooney, the free-scoring duo of Ryan and Jerome Johnston, Colin Stevenson and Chris Clarke.
Cathal Murray said after his first MacRory Cup victory: "It was a gritty performance. Not pretty. But our boys didn't know when to stop. We knew we were the underdogs but we had no inferior complex."
Skipper Niall McParland explained why his side had won the MacRory: "Getting our pictures on the famous College wall along with St Colman's footballing legends is a massive thing. It means the world to us."
Incidentally Cathal Murray will no doubt impress upon his young players that, just like Niall McParland, winning and getting onto that College Wall of Fame will guarantee St Colman's immortality for each and every player in the MacRory squad.
ST COLMAN'S 2010 TEAM: Matthew McNeice, Shane McGreevy, Niall Donnelly, Ruairi Lively, Ryan Johnston, Paul Hillen, Paul Lively, Niall McParland, Connor Gough, Donal O'Hare, Chris Clarke, Caolan Mooney, Colin Stevenson, Jerome Johnston and Tony McGreevy with subs: Ross McGarry, Shay McCartan and Eamon Lynch.
ST COLMAN'S COLLEGE PREVIOUS 19 MACRORY CUP WINS
1949, 1950, 1957, 1958, 1960, 1963, 1967, 1968, 1969, 1975, 1976, 1978, 1979, 1981, 1988, 1993, 1998, 2010, 2011.
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