Donnelly swaps loyalties to seal Schools victory
It's not often that a committed Tyrone man rejoices when an Armagh team triumphs but Red Hands Minor boss Mickey Donnelly was on cloud nine yesterday.
His St Paul’s Lurgan team produced a stunning display of finishing to collect the Ulster Schools McDevitt Cup at the expense of a gallant Abbey Vocational School, Donegal (5-8 to 3-11) in yesterday’s decider at Brewster Park, Enniskillen.
And in part two of an absorbing double bill, former Down ace and ex-Cavan manager Liam Austin was left purring with satisfaction after his St Mark’s Warrenpoint side jetted to yet another trophy triumph when they overcame Colaiste na Carraige (Donegal) by 3-18 to 0-9 in the Ulster Bank Arthurs Cup final.
For Donnelly, Monday’s coup by St Paul’s had a particularly sweet refrain as the team lost in the final three years ago.
“This win is extra-special and I am delighted for the players,” beamed Donnelly.
“They have put in a massive effort and they certainly deserve their triumph. This is the school’s golden jubilee year and it’s terrific to mark this landmark in such a manner.
“The hope is that we can go on from here and maybe in the future some of these players might get to wear the Armagh jersey.”
Cormac Sheehy proved the St Paul’s hero, grabbing three fine goals with Barry McCambridge and Shane Lavery also hitting the Donegal team’s net.
Sheehy had plundered a brace of goals before the break by which stage his side led by 3-3 to 1-4, Shaun Meehan having landed the Abbey team’s goal.
In the second-half, the irrepressible Sheehy added another for a St Paul’s side in which Tiarnan O’Neill was outstanding at full-back. But spare a thought for Abbey forward Jack Keaney. He scored 2-7 of his team’s total and still finished up on the losing side.
Meanwhile, Liam Austin and his fellow coaches Sean O’Hare and Sean Featherstone can now look forward to an All-Ireland semi-final with St Mark’s following yesterday’s handsome 18-point victory over a Colaiste na Carraige side.
Jack McAvoy, Conor Murray and Tiarnan Rushe scored the St Mark’s goals while C J Barr, Conor Fitzpatrick, Jody McGovern and Joe Morgan also made huge contributions to the victory.
McAvoy scored 1-4 in all while Jordan Murphy potted five points and Morgan landed a brace as St Mark’s emphasised their dominance. Conor O’Doherty filled the role of playmaker superbly for the Donegal college and hit four points in the process while Padraig MacCuinneagain and Padraig O Beirn worked hard in midfield throughout.