MacRory Cup: St Colman's are different class
St. Colman’s Newry retained their MacRory Cup title at the Athletic Grounds in Armagh yesterday afternoon after edging out a gallant St. Patrick’s Academy Dungannon side on a 2-9 to 2-8 scoreline.
It was a contest that ebbed and flowed throughout with lots of quality being displayed from both sides and St. Colman’s midfielder Ryan Johnston was delighted at the final whistle after picking up his second winner’s medal.
He was right half back on last year’s team and he’s now very familiar with that winning feeling.
“Words can’t describe what it means to win back to back MacRory Cups,” said Ryan.
“There was a while there in the second half I thought it was going away from us but we just kept going.
“The whole way through our school careers when we have played Dungannon they were always close encounters and today was no different and thankfully we came out on the right side of the result.
“When we were four up late on I never believed it was over as full credit to them they played until the final whistle.
“I’m underage next year as well and hopefully we can go on and build on this victory.”
St. Colman’s manager Cathal Murray knows all about days like this having experienced being a winner as both a player and manager and this latest success was just as sweet.
“We knew that this was going to go to the wire as there has been nothing between the two sides this last couple of years,” admitted Cathal.
“It was a great game of football with both sides letting each other at it. Goals win games as they say and Caolan’s second goal gave us something to hold onto.
“There was still 15 minutes to go and we knew that it wasn’t over as they have a side laced with quality players and they started to find spaces.
“That’s the first time since 1978/79 that St. Colman’s have won back to back titles.”
The celebrations, whoever, will have to be cut a little short as Murray knows the players now have Dundalk on their minds.
“We have little time to rest on our laurels as we play Dundalk in two weeks time in the Hogan semi-final,” he added.
“And we know that it’s going to be a tough match as we played them earlier this season but it’s another game and we don’t want this to end yet.
“We said in the changing rooms at Croke Park last year after we won the Hogan that our target was back to back MacRorys and now we have done that we are setting our sights even higher.”