MacRory Cup Final 2024 Omagh CBS 1-18 1-12 St Patrick’s Academy Dungannon
A more clinical Omagh CBS created history in the Athletic Grounds, Armagh by retaining the MacRory Cup for the first time, and in the process securing a sixth title since their first 50 years ago. St Patrick’s Academy will rue missed goal opportunities, particularly in the first half but will acknowledge they were defeated by the better side. The decisive moment coming in the 52nd minute, with the game evenly poised, Charlie Donnelly’s effort for a point deceived keeper Naoise Quinn and dropped into the net to extend Omagh’s lead to four and despite the Academy’s best efforts Omagh ran out worthy winners
Both sets of supporters created a carnival atmosphere as Ulster Schools GAA celebrated 100 years of the MacRory Cup. A lively first half, saw Conor McCool open the scoring for Dungannon in the 3rd minute. Man of the match Brian Gallagher levelled matters with a fine score after an outstanding run. Davin McKeown edged Dungannon back in front before Ruairi McCullagh hit the first of his six points to tie the game. A lovely curling effort from Niall McCarney gave Omagh the lead. Finn Spence spurned a great goal catch, initially he fielded a Sean Hughes point attempt but he blasted the ball wide. As the first quarter drew to a close Charlie Donnelly doubled the advantage. St Patrick’s Academy were enjoying their best period with Luke Neeson and Matthew Quinn having a greater influence on proceedings. Lorcan Hegarty almost hit the net for Dungannon in the 19th minute but he dragged his shot wide. A brace of Sean Hughes free kicks, sandwiched Charlie Donnelly’s second score as Omagh maintained a narrow lead. Ruairi McCullagh converted a mark before Jack Law extended the advantage. Davin McKeown with an excellent point and a further score from Hughes narrowed the deficit to the minimum before a duo of Ruairi McCullagh points ended the first half scoring with the holders leading 0-9 to 0-6.
Liam Og Mossey opened the second half scoring before McCullagh added to extend the lead to five, a timely third McKeown point got Dungannon back on the scoresheet before Paudi Dillon fisted over the bar for Omagh. Dungannon needed a goal and when Oisin Watson parried Luke Neeson’s fisted effort Conor Holmes was quickest to react to force the ball home. Holmes kicked a good score to reduce the deficit. Once again Brian Gallagher charged up from full back to kick a vital point as the game entered it’s final quarter.
A Hughes free and Matthew Quinn point brought the sides level with ten minutes remaining and the decibel level increased. Liam Og Mossey who had an excellent second half put Omagh back in front before Donnelly’s goal moments later. It was Mossey again from a mark to put five in it with five remaining. Conall Sheehy and James Mulgrew reduced the margin to a goal, but Blaine Lynch made a goal line clearance to deny Ross Daly. Points from McCullagh, Mossey and Eoin Donaghy ensured that the MacRory cup would reside in Omagh for a further 12 months.
Omagh’s outstanding captain Callum Daly lifted the MacRory cup, and hopefully they can revisit Croke Park on the 17th March, but a Hogan semi final awaits in two weeks time.
Omagh Scorers: R McCullagh 0-6 (1F, 1M), C Donnelly 1-2, L Mosey 0-4 (1M), B Gallagher 0-2, N McCarney 0-1, J Law 0-1, P Dillon 0-1, E Donaghy 0-1
Dungannon Scorers: S Hughes 0-4 (3F), C Holmes 1-1, D McKeown 0-3, C McCool 0-1, M Quinn 0-1, C Sheehy 0-1, J Mulgrew 0-1