A STORMING second half display brought the Markey Cup back to Holy Trinity Cookstown for the first time since 2003, writes Jason Quinn.
Donegal champions Rosses Community just couldn’t match the skill and pace of the Tyrone college when they turned on the style in the second period.
Trailing by a point at the short whistle, Holy Trinity quickly turned that defecit into a decisive three point lead, and advantage they retained for the remainder of the half.
Manager John McKeever was naturally delighted to have secured nyet another Ulster title, but was honest in his assessment that there is still more in his charges.
“We are delighted to be honest, we didn’t play well in the first half, but regrouped at half time and thankfully we put in the performance to win the Markey Cup.”
Rosses kicked the opening two scores of the game through full forward Connor Greene and Eoin Redmond but there lead was short lived, as Brendan Burns showed tremendous speed to skin three defenders, before hanging the ball into the net. The goal failed to lift Holy Trinity, with Rosses adding three more points through Greene, Redmond and Captain Shaun Boyle.
Caolan Coyle opened his account for the Tyrone School before Boyle added another for Rosses. Half back Mickey Mills then surged forward to level the game 25minutes in.
Chris McGlynn scored a free, and another score from the impressive Eoin Redmond extended Rosses lead to two points. Just before the half time whistle Danny McNulty showed great composure to strike over a 45 to leave the Cookstown School trailing by a point at the short whistle. By the eighth minute of the second half Holy Trinity had edged forward by two, with Big Midfielder Shea Coney commanding everything. Substitute Connor McAleer opened the scoring, with Rosses Redmond tagging on a free.
Cookstown then opened up a four point lead, with Coney slotting over a free and on the next attack he fired over again. From the resulting kick out Coney fielded high before sending Caolan Coyle through for his second of the afternoon. Redmond tagged on another free but Holy Trinity responded with points from Matthew Heagney, Shea Coney and Pomeroy’s Kieran McGeary. Boyle pulled one back for Rosses, but by the 26th minute Cookstown had stretched their lead to five, with points coming from Heagney and Captain Brendan Burns. The Donegal School never give up hope and responded with two points, to leave them in search of a goal going into injury time. Cookstown after all their hard work weren’t going to surrender at this stage, and it was left to that man Coney, who also picked up the Man of the Match award, to fire over the insurance point, and see his team crowned Ulster champions, leaving them 60 minutes away from that dream game in Croke Park.
Holy Trinity College: John McCourt, Ruairi Mullan, Stiofan Gervin, Pearse Warnock, Mickey Mills 0-1, Danny McNulty 0-1, Matthew Hughes, Anthony Devlin, Shea Coney 0-5, Michael Cassidy, Matthew Heagney 0-2, Caolan Coyle 0-2 Kieran McGeary 0-1, Brendan Burns (Captain) 0-1, Declan McClure. Subs: Connor McAleer 0-1 for McClure, Barry Potter for Cassidy.
Rosses Community School: Ben Boyle, Jack Scally, Daniel O’Donnell, Declan Harley, Eimhin Bonner 0-1, Martin Redmond, Jack O’Brien, Eoin Redmond 0-4, Dara White, John Walsh, Chris McGlynn 0-1, Gary McKee, Shaun Boyle 0-4, Connor Greene 0-3, Eoin Scally. Subs: David McCarron for Walsh.