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Ulster schools go for glory at Croke Park

St Michael’s College Enniskillen and Holy Trinity College Cookstown will be hoping to follow in the footsteps of St Paul’s HS, Bessbrook when they fulfil their respective All-Ireland colleges’ football final missions at Croke Park tomorrow.

St Paul’s romped to the All-Ireland colleges ‘B’ title last weekend by beating Ardscoil Rís Dublin in the final and now two more Ulster seats of learning will enter Headquarters with the strong sniff of success in their nostrils.

St Mary’s Secondary School, Edenderry (Offaly) will form the opposition to St Michael’s (2.45pm) while Holy Trinity will take on Gallan Community School, Ferbane (Offaly) (1.00pm).

It’s an attractive double bill that could potentially bring further success to Ulster which is rapidly becoming the home of All-Ireland titles at various levels in different codes.

St Michael’s overcame St Patrick’s College Maghera in the MacRory Cup final before going on to account for Pobalscoil Chorca Dhuibhe (Kerry) in the All-Ireland semi-final.

In both matches free-taker Eddie Courtney proved the St Michael’s hero, helping himself to 13 points in all.

Yet St Michael’s are far from being a one-man show. The Cullen twins, Che and Lee, along with Niall Shannon underpin a solid defence while Rory Brennan and Ryan Hyde form a durable midfield partnership with Courtney a key figure in the attack.

St Michael’s coach Dominic Corrigan said: “We had to play our MacRory Cup final and All-Ireland semi-final within a matter of days but we have had a breather now. Hopefully we will get into our stride early.”

Holy Trinity, where Peter Canavan’s influence in nurturing talent has been so pronounced, face a tough task against a quality Gallan team.

Belfast Telegraph

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