GAA: St Patrick’s win McGrath Cup

St Patrick's Maghera and their coaches celebrate victory  in the Grade A Oisin McGrath Trophy Final

St Patrick's Maghera and their coaches celebrate victory in the Grade A Oisin McGrath Trophy Final

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The Danske Bank Oisin McGrath Cup was established last school year in memory of the late St Michael’s Enniskillen pupil and footballer.

Omagh CBS were the inaugural winners and this Grade A final was another tremendous advertisement for Ulster Schools Football.

St Patrick's Maghera captain Patrick Walls receives the Oisin McGrath Trophy from Oisin's parents Sharon and Nigel

St Patrick's Maghera captain Patrick Walls receives the Oisin McGrath Trophy from Oisin's parents Sharon and Nigel

St Patrick’s Maghera, despite being behind by 0-7 to 2-3 at the half way stage, produced an excellent second half showing to collect the trophy.

A much more efficient defensive effort lead by Adam McLaughlin, Peter Bryson, Dara McGurk and Eoin Scullion had good support from Patrick Walls and Conlan O’Kane in midfield while Ryan McNicholl, Niall Barton and Eoin Higgins made good use of the possession which continually came from this platform.

Dungannon had stand out performers in Matthew McCallion, Conor McElhatton, Ryan Lavery, Theo Lowe, Mark Duffin and Ben Cullen and goals in the first half from Lowe and Duffin gave them that two point lead despite playing against the breeze.

Maghera needed a good start to the second period and so it proved as they fired 2-2 without reply. The first goal came when Niall Barton was hauled down in the area and Conlan O’Kane fired home the spot-kick to put Maghera into the lead and within a few minutes midfielder Patrick Walls was on hand to scramble a high ball over the line to give his side control of the game.

Maghera captain Patrick Walls with coaches Mr William McAteer and Mr Declan Walls

Maghera captain Patrick Walls with coaches Mr William McAteer and Mr Declan Walls

There was an Academy point in reply, but Barton was then on the end of an excellent Maghera move as he struck a third goal for Maghera.

Dungannon did come back with consecutive points but within minutes Barton was again on hand to finish to the net and put the game beyond the Academy. Credit to the Tyrone school that they did manage to grab two further goals but they came either side of an excellent finish from Maghera midfielder and captain Patrick Walls who lashed the leather home after an excellent charge through the Dungannon defence.

The game was played in an excellent spirit and was a fitting tribute to the late Oisin McGrath whose parents Sharon and Nigel were in attendance to make a very poignant presentation of the superb Oisin McGrath trophy to St Patrick’s Maghera captain Patrick Walls.

St. Patrick’s Maghera: Patrick Walls 2-1, Conlan O’Kane 1-2, Ryan McNicholl 0-1, Ruaidhrí McAleese 0-1, Connlaodh McCann 0-1, Eoin Higgins 0-2, Niall Barton 2-2.

St Patrick’s Dungannon : Theo Lowe 1-3, Ryan Lavery 1-1, Ronan Cassidy 1-0, Mark Duffin 1-0, Ben Cullen 0-2.