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All Ireland Colleges Championship: Mooney in medal chase before Oz

By John Campbell

Caolan Mooney hopes to embark on his career in Australian Rules Football with no fewer than four major colleges’ medals in his possession.

The St. Colman’s College Newry half-forward will line out in tomorrow’s All-Ireland Colleges Hogan Cup semi-final against Dundalk Schools at Crossmaglen knowing that the last leg of what could prove a historic ‘double double’ is in sight.

Last year St. Colman’s won both the MacRory and Hogan Cups and having already retained the former, they now have their sights on the latter.

But Mooney, who will join the Collingwood club Down Under in October, warns that Dundalk Schools will present a big challenge to St. Colman’s.

“They beat St Patrick’s College Navan in the Leinster final and that says a lot about them. Navan were fancied to go all the way again this year in their province so we will have to be on our toes,” says Mooney.

St. Colman’s coach Cathal Murray acknowledges that while his side showed great character in the MacRory Cup final against St. Patrick’s Academy Dungannon on St Patrick’s Day, they will have to find another gear tomorrow.

“We were back in training shortly after our MacRory win and this shows the appetite this St. Colman’s team have for success. We know it will be tough against Dundalk Schools,” says former Down star Murray.

Mooney’s two goals in the MacRory final have been duly noted by tomorrow’s opponents. But St. Colman’s are far from being a one-man show. Conor Gough is an influential midfielder, Jerome Johnston a top-class finisher and Matthew McNeice a sound goalkeeper while Ryan Johnston, Niall Donnelly and Ruairi Lively are more than useful players.

The Dundalk Schools side is coached by Cork native John Moynan who is now residing in Galbally.

He currently plays reserve team football for the Tyrone club and his contribution to the Dundalk team’s success has been immense.

Moynan, married to the former Kathy Hagan, is aware that St. Colman’s will provide a stern test.

The winners will meet Colaiste Criost Ri or St Jarlath’s Tuam who meet in the other semi tomorrow.

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