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MacRory Cup: Picture and report as St Ronan's win first ever title after thrilling final

St Ronan's 1-9 St Mary's 1-7

By Paul Kelly

St Ronan's College, Lurgan produced a superb second half display to secure their first MacRory Cup title at the Athletic Grounds, Armagh.

With half-forward Ryan Meehan driving them on, the Lurgan school upset the odds to beat defending champions St Mary's Grammar, Magherafelt.

St Ronan's made a stunning start to the game with Oisin Smyth slotting home a penalty inside the opening two minutes.

The Lurgan side, playing with the wind advantage dominated the early exchanges and Smyth added a point to give them a 1:01 to 0:0 lead against the holders.

It took 11 minutes for St Mary's to get on the scoreboard with Liam Quinn pointing.

There was little between the sides in the opening half but gradually St Mary's started to dominate possession. They clawed their way back into the final and eventually a foul on Conall Devlin resulted in a penalty which was tucked away to level the scores at 1:03 each.

And it was St Mary's who finished on a high, with Adam Connolly pointing to give them the advantage at the break 1:04 to 1:03.

18JP2SchoolGAA002.jpg
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 19th March 2018 Danske Bank Ulster School GAA finals at the Armagh Athletic Grounds. Dance Bank MacRory Cup - St. RonanÕs College, Lurgan v St MaryÕs(white), Grammar School, Magherafelt. St. RonanÕs College celebrate after winning the final. Picture by Jonathan Porter/PressEye

St Ronan's responded to going behind in positive fashion and dominated the second half. Meehan set the tone, pointing in the early seconds and Eoin McConville then put the Lurgan side ahead.

James McCann replied with a point for St Mary's but the holders were on the back foot and Odhran Lynch made a great low save on 12 minutes to keep St Ronan's out.

Meehan pointed twice more with Daniel Bradley replying for St Mary's to level the game.

As the game wound up to a conclusion, St Ronan's' subs made their impact with Mark McAfee getting on the scoreboard to stretch the Lurgan club advantage to two points.

The sides swapped points in the closing stages but St Ronan's remained ahead and defended strongly in the final seconds to claim a two point win.

LIVE: Match day for the MacRory Cup final between St Ronan’s and St Mary’s Grammar Updates from the big match:...

Posted by Belfast Telegraph Sport on Monday, March 19, 2018

Before that, Holy Trinity College, Cookstown and St Eunan's, Letterkenny drew 1-9 to 3-6 in the MacLarnon Cup final, also at the Athletic Grounds.

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