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Posted on 15th March 2017 | News

St. Mary’s Grammar School, Magherafelt is hoping that it will be third time lucky for the school when its senior football team meet St. Colman’s College, Newry in the final of the Danske Bank Ulster Schools’ MacRory Cup competition in Armagh on St. Patrick’s Day.
Having previously made it to the final of the competition in 1996 and 2003, St. Mary’s has yet to enjoy a MacRory Cup victory but there is optimism within the school that this could change this year.

Speaking ahead of the game, Deirdre Gillespie, Principal, commented: “We recognise the enormity of the challenge we face in meeting St. Colman’s College - a school making its 27th appearance in a MacRory Cup final and one which has collected the prize 19 times previously.  Nonetheless, we have faith in our boys and know that they will do everything in their power to secure a win on the day.” 
St. Mary’s PE teacher and former Antrim GAA player, Kevin Brady, who manages the team, explained: “The challenge couldn’t be any greater and it is one which we fully embrace.  Although not newcomers to this elite stage, having competed in the MacRory Cup final in both 1996 and 2003, we are fully aware of St. Colman’s historic connections with MacRory and Hogan Cup football and their renowned successes.  They are an example to us all.  We know they will respect, and match, our determination to win the 2017 MacRory Cup and mark St. Mary’s in the history of MacRory Cup football once and for all.”

Expressing her pride in the team’s success this year, Mrs Gillespie said:  “Whatever the outcome of the match, we, as a school community, are immensely proud of the achievement of our players and their management team this year.  The passion, determination, discipline, focus and skill of the team have been apparent throughout this campaign as they trained during lunch times, after-school, at weekends and during school holidays.  I wish to recognise their commitment to the sport and to the school and thank them for their effort and sacrifice in the pursuit of the MacRory Cup dream.  They have served as excellent role models within the school, providing example and inspiration to other pupils through their sporting endeavour.  I also wish to express my sincere appreciation to the management team – Mr Kevin Brady, Mr John McElholm, Mr Ronan Devlin, Mr Eunan Conway and Mr Cathal Hinfey – who have been instrumental in motivating the boys, steering them throughout the competition and instilling a sense of belief and positivity within the team.  The dedication, expertise and experience of the management team have, undoubtedly, been crucial factors in the team’s progress this year.  I wish all involved – players, management and supporters - the very best of luck for St. Patrick’s Day.”