St Colman’s College win D’Alton Cup
Picture the scene. Back into school again after a long weekend. Another long week ahead of classes and last minute preparations for exams. Not so for St. Colman’s College, who are celebrating another major sporting achievement after securing the D’Alton Cup. On Friday evening in Tír na nÓg in The Moy the Newry side won the trophy that had eluded them since 1997. It wasn’t all plain sailing though.
Omagh blitzed St. Colman’s in the first half and unforced errors by the College side meant that the blues were playing catch up in the second period. Niall Loughran, Omaghs centre half forward was their main threat but as the game wore on the big Dromore man’s influence was quelled by a succession of Down and Armagh men; namely Mark Braniff, (Dromara) Conor O Neill (Killeavy) and finally Ruairi Byrne, (Glenn), who was outstanding.
In the half back line James McKee – nephew of past pupil and former Armagh Senior Footballer – showed why he has been a constant in the team by giving a solid display. In the forward line Rian O’Neill – son of Crossmaglen joint manager Gareth – bagged two goals and Jack McCartan – son of past pupil Mickey – scored the other. Ross Carr, son of Down legend Ross senior, was outstanding in the second half as was Culloville lad Matthew McCresh.
After trailing by an incredible 9 points, the city side managed to muster up some amazing resilience and claw back what at one stage seemed to be an insurmountable task. Mission impossible became mission accomplished as each of the 9 points sailed between the sticks to level matters. With one hand now on the 40 year old cup, the local side pinged a further 4 points over the bar to finish the game in commanding fashion.
The team, which is made up of 8 pupils from Co Down and 7 from Co Armagh showed an enormous amount of character in the second half to prove that they deserved to win, maintaining their unbeaten record in the Ulster Competition. This was just reward for a long and arduous path that started in December and ended in style in May.
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