St. Mary’s lift first MacRory Cup

St Marys  Grammar Magherafelt's Declan Cassidy captain after winning the cup
St Marys Grammar Magherafelt's Declan Cassidy captain after winning the cup

St Mary’s Magherafelt 0-19

St. Colman’s, Nerwry 0-13

St Mary’s Magherafelt made history yesterday when they clinched the MacRory Cup for the first time, holding off 19-times winners, St Colman’s of Newry, to win 0-19 to 0-13 in the traditional St. Patrick’s Day Final at the Athletic Grounds in Armagh.

Kevin Small and Declan Cassidy were the Mary’s stars but the Mid Ulster school were forced to hold off a spirited second-half fightback from the Co. Down side before pulling clear.

Playing with the wind at their backs, Small slotted the opening score after claiming a superb high ball but after establishing a 0-3 to 0-1, St Mary’s were held scoreless for 15 minutes as Colman’s fought back to lead 0-4 to 0-3.

However a superb Conall Devlin point ended the St Mary’s drought and they hit five out of the remaining seven scores to take a narrow 0-8 to 0-6 lead into half-time.

Despite now playing into the wind, St Mary’s hit three unanswered points on the resumption to move five ahead as Small continued to wreak havoc.

Magherafelt still looked in control at 0-14 to 0-9 ahead after 48 minutes points but points from Crossmaglen duo Rian O’Neill and Cian McConville quickly brought the deficit back to three.

Aided by the breeze, Colman’s began to send in a number of high balls toward the Mary’s posts and the Newry school had decent appeals for a 55th-minute penalty waved away,

St Mary’s weathered the storm though withd substitute, Tiernan McAteer and the influential Small among the late scorers as Magherafelt hit the final four points to clinch a remarkable victory.