Holy Trinity College Cookstown received an invitation from DCU to take part in their annual 7 a side colleges tournament. The competition sees the cream of colleges football in Leinster and Connacht compete for the right to be called DCU seven a side College Masters.
Tyrone native Michael Kennedy from Plumbridge who is heavily involved with the Dublin Senior Football teamplayed a key role in organising the tournament and was responsible for Cookstown’s participation. Indeed Holy Trinity was the only Ulster based school to take part in the competition and each school was asked to submit a listed panel of twelve players.
The players on the original panel of twelve all played minor championship football for their clubs on Wednesday night and four of the original twelve player panel picked up injuries in those matches which meant the Holy Trinity panel for the competition was reduced to eight.
The teams were arranged in groups of five and Holy Trinity was grouped with St Pat’s Navan, Marist College Athlone, St Kevin’s College Finglas and St Benildus College Stillorgan Second Team. The Tyrone lads played superbly throughout and in spite of having only one sub for the entire league section they topped their group and made it through to the quarter finals.
With the possibility of a place in the last four, Holy Trinity played without fear and overcame St. Mary’s Mullingar by four points. Finding themselves fourteen minutes away from the final they continued to produce some excellent football and defeated St. Mary’s Edenderry the Offaly champions in the semi final. Again it was another four point victory.
In the final they faced Dublin College St Benildus First Team and even though they had only eight players at their disposal the Cookstown lads produced some excellent football to lead by three points with time almost up. Just when it seemed they had it won Holy Trinity suffered the body blow of conceding a last minute goal to finish the game all square at the end of normal time.
The Holy Trinity lads were out on their feet as they faced the prospect of two periods of three minutes of extra time but when it mattered most they dug deepest. In spite of Pearse Warnock injuring his ankle in extra time, they went on to win by five points and bring the title back to Tyrone. As well as being declared Colleges Sevens Masters the team and their supporters took great pride in watching Pomeroy youngster Kieran Mc Geary presented with the player of the tournament award to cap a very special day for Holy Trinity College.
For the record those involved in this historic success were management duo Peter Canavan and John Mc Keever and players Declan Mc Clure, Danny Mc Nulty both Clonoe, Mattie Hughes Cookstown, Conor Mc Aleer (captain) Kildress, Pearse Warnock Greencastle, Kieran Mc Geary Pomeroy, Kieran Blake Cookstown and Conor Dorman Brockagh. Also listed on the panel but unable to participate due to injury were: Ruairi Mullan, Michael Cassidy, John Mc Auley and Anthony Devlin.