MacRory Glory for St. Mary’s Grammar School, Magherafelt
St Mary’s Grammar School, Magherafelt has become the 2017 Danske Bank MacRory Cup.
Making its third appearance in a MacRory Cup final on St. Patrick’s Day, the school made history when it collected the trophy for the first time following a 0-19 to 0-13 victory over St. Colman’s College, Newry.
It was a truly momentous occasion for the whole school community, as was evident by the huge crowd which had gathered in the Athletic Grounds in Armagh to support the St. Mary’s team. There were jubilant scenes when the final whistle was blown and hundreds of St. Mary’s supporters flooded the pitch to congratulate the “blue and white army”. Governors, parents, pupils and staff - both past and present - applauded loudly as Declan Cassidy triumphantly lifted the trophy for the school. The Magherafelt team, managed by Kevin Brady, John McElholm and Ronan Devlin, deserved the win over St. Colman’s; They worked as a collective to hold strong in defence against a determined St. Colman’s forward line who managed to go 0-4 to 0-3 up early on in the first half. However, it was the only time that the Newry team would lead as St. Mary’s dug deep, fought back and went into the break with a two point lead.
“This is a truly historic day for St. Mary’s. We have waited a long time to enjoy MacRory Cup success”
Kevin Small and Declan Cassidy starred for St Mary’s as they held off a second-half fight-back that saw the margin reduce to 0-15 to 0-13. With the help of goalkeeper, Odhran Lynch, who performed heroics as he made three great saves, St Mary’s hit back with the final four points to seal the victory.
St.Mary’s demonstrated team work, determination, courage and belief and were the better side for most of the game. The individual performances were superb but the team work was irrefutable and St. Mary’s ended the match as deserving winners.
Speaking after the game, St. Mary’s Principal, Deirdre Gillespie, commented: “This is a truly historic day for St. Mary’s. We have waited a long time to enjoy MacRory Cup success. I am so pleased for the players, their management team and for everyone associated with the school for whom this win is so significant. I would like to thank everyone who has supported the team, including pupils, staff, parents, Governors, sponsors and friends of St. Mary’s. I would also like to acknowledge the sportsmanship of the St. Colman’s players and thank them for the part they played in providing a gripping and memorable MacRory Cup final.”