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Omagh CBS retain MacRory Cup

Omagh CBS forward, Ruairi McCullagh. 

Omagh CBS forward, Ruairi McCullagh. 

Danske Bank MacRory Cup Final

Omagh CBS 1-18 St Patrick’s Dungannon 1-12

By Francie Mooney

Back to back champions Omagh CBS retained the MacRory Cup for the first time in the school’s history as they saw off Tyrone rivals St Patrick’s Dungannon at the Box-It Athletic Grounds in Armagh.

Superb defensive performances from full back Brian Gallagher and centre back Callum Daly laid the foundation for this success by the holders, but it was a fortuitous second half goal that helped them halt an Academy revival.

Ruairi McCullagh and Liam Og Mossey, among six survivors from last year’s Hogan Cup winning side, shared an eleven points haul in a clinical display of finishing, with midfielder Charlie Donnelly chipping in with 1-2.

Omagh, with the wind in their backs, eased into an early lead, with full back Gallagher getting the score-board ticking, and classy points coming from Ruairi McCullagh and Liam Og Mossey, while midfielder Charlie Donelly nailed a couple of scores.

However, the Dungannon lads were a constant threat on the breakaway, and crafted a handful of goal chances towards the end of the opening quarter, the best of which fell to Lorcan Hegarty, but his low shot zipped just wide at the far post.

Davin McKeown’s point was followed by a couple of Sean Hughes frees as St Patrick’s stuck close to the holders, but scores from McCullagh and Jack Law saw CBS restore their three points cushion.

Solid defending from Donnelly and Gallagher helped them frustrate the Dungannon attack, but a long range Hughes score left just a point between the sides approaching half-time.

Another Omagh flourish produced two more McCullagh scores to send his side in with a 0-9 to 0-6 interval lead, and their possession game into the wind paid off as they added scores through McCullagh, Mosey and Paudi Dillon to go five clear.

But the Academy struck for a 41st minute goal, Conor Holmes finishing to the net from close range after Luke Neeson’s effort had been parried by ‘keeper Oisin Watson.

Holmes added a point to narrow the gap to one, but the Omagh response was emphatic, albeit with a little luck thrown in, as Charlie Donnelly’s long range punt deceived goalkeeper Naoise Quinna and went all the way to the net in the 52nd minute.

From that point onwards they never looked back, restricting their opponents to two points in the closing ten minutes, and sharpshooters McCullagh (0-6) and Mossey (0-5) die the rest with some sublime finishing.

Omagh CBS scorers: C Donnelly 1-2, R McCullagh 0-6 (1f, 1m), L Og Mossey 0-5 (1m), B Gallagher 0-2, P Dillon, J Law, E Donaghy 0-1 each.

St Patrick’s Dungannon scorers: C Holmes 1-1, S Hughes 0-4 (3f), D McKeown 0-3, C McCool, C Sheehy, M Quinn, J Mulgrew 0-1 each.

Omagh CBS: O Watson; B Lynch, B Gallagher, S McCann; N Farry, C Daly, M Corcoran; E Donaghy, C Donnelly; O Teague, R McCullagh, J Law; N McCarney, P Dillon, L Og Mossey. Subs: A McGurren for Dillon (47), J Edgar for Teague (56), M Howe for McCarney (58)

St Patrick’s Dungannon: N Quinn; C Holmes, O O’Neill, C Morgan; L Neeson, M Quinn, D McKeown; S Hughes, D O’Neill; P McGeary, C Sheehy, L Hegarty; C McCool, F Spence, L McGeary. Subs: D Devlin for Hegarty (h-t), J Mulgrew for D O’Neill (41), P McLernon for McCool (59), R Daly for P McGeary (59)

Referee: P Faloon (Down).