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St Colman's lose MacRory Cup Final

Saturday 18th March 2017

St. Mary's, Magherafelt 0-19 St. Colman's, Newry 0-13

A new name has been inscribed on the MacRory Cup after St. Mary's, Magherafelt overcame traditional giants St. Colman's, Newry in an exciting final at the Athletic Grounds.

Having edged out St Paul's, Bessbrook after a replay in the semi-final, the Derry boys showed their battling qualities once again as they withstood a second half fightback by the 19-time winners to be crowned Ulster Colleges senior football champions for the first time. Kevin Small and Declan Cassidy were hugely influential for a Mary's team who shot the last four points after a Colman's had a penalty appeal turned down in the 55th minute when only a goal separated the sides.

Appearing in their third decider, Mary's opened up an early 0-3 to 0-1 lead before Colman's fought back to take a 0-4 to 0-3 lead through Matthew McCreesh's point. Conall Devlin levelled for Magherafelt and, with Small excelling on the edge of the edge of the square, they enjoyed the better of the exchanges thereafter to take a 0-8 to 0-6 lead into the break. 

Small continued to run riot on the restart as the winners extended their advantage to 0-14 to 0-9 before points from Crossmaglen pair Rian O'Neill and Cian McConville reduced the margin to three. Magherafelt then had a huge let-off when the referee awarded a 13-metre free rather than a penalty after O'Neill was taken down. O'Neill popped the ball over the bar to make it 0-13 to 0-15, but St. Mary's weren't to be denied as late scores from Small and substitute Tiernan McAteer sealed a historic victory.

Leinster champions St. Peter's, Wexford will provide the opposition for St. Mary's in the All-Ireland semi-final.

St. Mary’s, Magherafelt: O Lynch; C McCluskey, S Kelly, M Loughran; D Cassidy 0-1, C Devlin, E Kelly; K McCann, T Doherty 0-1; A Connolly 0-1, D Bradley 0-6 (4f), S McErlain; L Quinn 0-3, K Small 0-5, C Murphy. Subs: T McAteer 0-2 for McCann (43), M Rodgers for Connolly (58), J McCann for Kelly (58). Yellow cards: McCann (11), E Kelly (23).

St, Colman’s College, Newry: M Magill; L Brown, S McCarthy, C Killen 0-1; F McElroy, M Branniff, P Fegan; C O’Neill 0-1, R Garvey; J McCartan 0-1, R O’Neill 0-4 (1f, 1’45’), E McDonnell 0-2; M McCreesh 0-1, C McConville 0-1 (f), A Gribben 0-2. Subs: E Byrne for McCreesh (34), R Carr for Braniff (37), C McCartan for Brown (48), J McKee for Killen (BC 53). Yellow cards: Garvey (31), McElroy (45).

Referee: Niall McKenna (Monaghan)