Rafferty Cup Winners
Dean Maguirc College 1-11 St Pius X, Magherafelt 1-10
After 2 games and 2 periods of extra time, only the minimum separated ourselves and St Pius X at the Final of the Rafferty Cup in Stewartstown on Saturday.
There was little between the two well drilled sides, with the Dean boys deserving the success on the day. Our team started with the same 15 from the drawn game, but it was the positional switches that the management deployed at the second time of asking that went a long way towards winning the game.
Team captain Micheal McCann led by example with an inspirational display at corner back. Oran Toal was moved to the 40 and caused havoc every time he gained possession, while Sean Conneely and Packie Quinn were also to the fore for the team.
St Pius more than played their part in a thrilling encounter with players Ryan Laverty, Michael Forbes and Aaron Donnelly being their best players on the day.
Scores proved difficult to come by in the third quarter. An unfortunate Cathair Kelly was off due to a black card offence just shortly before St Puis became level. A great response from Sean Conneely and Oran Toal responded with converted frees before Lorcan McGarrity eased a 3 point lead with 8 minutes to go. A minute later and the ball was in the bottom corner of the net for St Puis X. The Dean boys dug deep with Packie Quinn placing Zak Devine for the lead point before Oral Toal weighed in with his fourth of the day.
The final whistle marked a third ulster schools’ title in a row for this group of players, all the more remarkable as this group of players have moved up a grade in each of the 3 seasons. A thrilling game of football from both sides with a well deserved result in the end. Special congratulations has to be said to the coaches Enda Kilpatrick and Terry McCann who have worked hard with this young team.
Daniel McCrory, Micheal McCann, Conor Cuddy, Cahir McAnespie, Caolan Meenagh, Packie Quinn 1-0, Cathair Kelly, Sean Conneely 0-2, Tiarnan Teague 0-1, Zak Devine 0-1, Oran Toal 0-4, David Morris, James Donaghy 0-1, Lorcan McGarrity 0-1, Michael Rafferty 0-1
Subs: Michael McElduff for James Donaghy, Donal Sweeney for David Morris, Ruiari Dobbs.
We have great talent in the sport of Handball with the following pupils already achieving highly this year.
Ciaran Cuddy showed great determination in the Intermediate singles to win the Ulster title beating a pupil from St McCartan’ s in the final of the 60 X 30 Ulster Colleges. He then did the double when he beat Daire Savage from St Colmans Newry to lift the 40 X 20 Ulster Under 19 singles title.
In the girls’ junior singles Caitlin Conway beat Loreto Convent’s Mairead Fox in the game of the day. The two girls played to such a high standard and Caitlin finally came through winning the tie-breaker to take the 60 X 30 Ulster Under 17 singles title
In the 60 X 30 Ulster Under 15 doubles, Cahir Munroe and Fionntan McNamee won the junior boys doubles beating St. McCartans in the final. The boys played excellently and won on a score line of 15-7, 15-11.
The Dean travelled to Beech Hill College in Monaghan to play in the Ulster under 16 One wall girls tournament. There were 18 teams from schools throughout Ulster and the girls had to win their group to make it through to the semi-final. They beat St Pauls Bessbrook in their two doubles games where Sarah Devlin and Seana Clarke won 15-7 with Clare Conway and Laura Tuohey winning 15-5. In the final they played the hosts Beech Hill. This was a tough encounter but the girls played a stormer and went on to win the title 15-10, 15-11.
Last year we had the privilege of having two pupils selected from the Dean to represent Tyrone Minors
Conall Grimes (who was last year’s Captain ) and Cathaoir Gallagher
We also had two players on the Tyrone team that won the inaugural All- Ireland U-17 Trophy
Ryan Gumley and Ruairi Slane with the team being captained by Cormac Munroe a past pupil.