Blessed Trinity are fired up for silverware shot
Belfast's Blessed Trinity College have qualified for the Danske Bank Ulster Schools' GAA Brother Nolan Cup Final for the first time in the school's short history.
Today's final at St Malachy's, Castledawson (12.30pm) sees the Antrim Road college pitted against St Patrick's College, Ballymena in a battle for the coveted trophy, named after GAA enthusiast and former Omagh CBS principal, the late Brother Louis P Nolan.
Formed in September 2017, Blessed Trinity has quickly established a sporting tradition in Gaelic games with the college participating in Ulster Schools Gaelic football and hurling as well as Ladies Gaelic football competitions.
The current Brother Nolan Cup squad is a microcosm of the GAA landscape in north Belfast with club playing members being in the minority.
Only seven of the current panel of 23 are club members with St James' Aldergrove making up three of those seven, along with representatives from Pearses, Ard Eoin Kickhams and Naomh Éanna, Glengormley.
Unfortunately, one of those Aldergrove players, Ryan McCarthy, has missed the Nolan campaign due to a serious knee injury. Ryan still plays an influential role within the team, displaying the traits which saw him named as the 2019 Antrim Minor football captain just before his injury.
The progress of the team to such a prestigious final so late in their school careers, having not been regular club players, is a testament to the character of the lads involved and their ability to diversify their skills in such a constructive manner.
Jim McKeever, Principal at Blessed Trinity, said: "Our achievement in reaching an Ulster final is fantastic for the school and wider north Belfast community.
"It reflects the work being done by local clubs and primary schools in promoting the games in a soccer-dominated area and serves as a small glimpse of the potential for Gaelic games in north Belfast, particularly with the impending implementation of the long-term and badly needed Gaelfast initiative.
"We wish the squad well and everyone here will be cheering them on."