Brilliant St Paul’s bags Mac Cormack victory

Pictured is the St Paul’s team celebrating after winning the Danske Bank Ulster Colleges Mac Cormack Cup.

The Under-18 boys from St Paul’s High School created history for the Bessbrook school for the second year running, by winning Danske Bank Ulster Colleges MacCormack Cup, after an impressive final display against St Patrick’s College, Maghera.  This is the school’s first year of Ulster Colleges MacRory football. 

Having remained unbeaten throughout the group stages, St Paul’s finished top of their MacRory group seeing off St Michael’s College, Enniskillen, St Colman’s College, Newry and St Macartan’s College, Monaghan, as well as drawing against Omagh CBS.

The Mac Cormack Final awaited this highly motivated group of lads and standing in their way were strong favourites St Patrick’s College, Maghera, who also topped their MacRory group.

Played under floodlights at the excellent facilities at Emyvale GAC, County Monaghan, St Patrick’s got off to a flying start as they scored two points in the opening exchanges.

St Paul’s showed little sign of panic, and this approach paid off as they kicked three unanswered points to take the lead for the first time in the game, with Eoghan Burns scoring the first two and Cormac Toner getting the third.

St Patrick’s responded from this straight away as they went up the field to kick a long distance point to draw the sides level for the second time in the match.

The game was very intense and neither team could afford to make mistakes, but when the referee played a brillant advantage, St Paul’s attacked St Patrick’s defence at speed, and when Conor Nugent found himself one on one with the keeper, and made no mistakes when finding the back of the net, throwing St Paul’s three points in front.

St Patrick’s again showed their accuracy from long range, as they kicked two points of their own without reply to get within one point of St Paul’s.

The half time whistle was approaching and before it was blown up St Paul’s got another goal. Connaire Mackin found a gap through the middle and he drove the ball low and hard into the six yard area, with Caolán McCullough popping up round the back to slot the ball into the net. This had St Paul’s going in at half time leading by four points.

Half time:   St Paul’s High School, Bessbrook 2-03   St Patrick’s College, Maghera 0-05

The second half begun, and an off-the-ball incident had St Patrick’s reduced to fourteen men, as their player picked up a second yellow card.

They say a red card makes a team play better, and this was definitely the case for St Patrick’s as they kicked four points without reply in the second half to draw the game level.

However, St Paul’s were in desperate need for a point and Eoghan Burns stepped up to the mark as he scored a long range point to put St Paul’s back infront.

St Patrick’s again responded with a point of their own, although Connaire Mackin put St Paul’s back in front, but again St Patrick’s cancelled this out and the game was level with five minutes remaining.

The spectators certainly got their value for money as this game took a dramatic twist near the end.

The game was all square, and two minutes into injury time St Patrick’s took the lead for the first time since the opening exchanges, but with St Paul’s grit and determination they never stopped until the final whistle went, and they were soon to be rewarded from this.

With the game five minutes into injury time, St Paul’s had a free on the 45-metre line. Conor Nugent stepped up to the mark and he smartly took it short to Eoghan Burns, who went for a point only for the ball to drop short into the hands of Fionnán Burns, who turned and drove the ball into the roof of the net.

The game still went on and St Patrick’s piled the pressure onto St Paul’s, and a great save from the St Paul’s keeper Sean McDonnell denied them a goal, and the place erupted as the final whistle was blown.

Full time:   St Paul’s High School, Bessbrook 3-05   St Patrick’s College, Maghera 0-12

 Pictured is St Paul’s Captain Ciaron O’Hanlon and Vice-Captain Gregory McCabe, lifting the Danske Bank Ulster Colleges Mac Cormack Cup. 

Pictured is the St Paul’s team that lined out against St Patrick’s Maghera in the Danske Bank Ulster Colleges Mac Cormack Cup. 

Pictured is the St Patrick’s Maghera team that took on St Paul’s in the Danske Bank Ulster Colleges Mac Cormack Cup. 

See below for video highlights from the match and celebrations:


See below for photos from the Danske Bank Ulster Colleges MacCormack Cup Final at Emyvale GAA, County Monaghan.


Well done lads a wonderful start to your MacRory campaign. Through your exploits last year you have earned the right to be in the MacRory competition and your performances this term have shown that you have the ability and the attitude that it takes. Always go for it, give it your best shot and never worry about the opposition or those who try to detract from you.

by Oliver Mooney on 30/11/2012 at 8:29 am #

First class, the sight of the cup being carried into the school will remain with me for a long time to come!

by John Campbell on 30/11/2012 at 11:12 pm #

A big well done to the boys, bringing sucess and positivly highlighting our school once again! Bring on the rest of the McRory games!! #naomhpolabu

by Dara Quinn on 03/12/2012 at 2:20 pm #

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