100 Years of the MacRory Cup: The day Dungannon brought the Cardinal’s cup home after all-Tyrone final

St Patrick's Academy, Dungannon beat Omagh CBS in the 2009 MacRory Cup final
St Patrick's Academy, Dungannon beat Omagh CBS in the 2009 MacRory Cup final

How pleased must Tyrone-born Cardinal MacRory have been on March 17, 2009 as he ‘looked down’ and saw for the first time in 87 years, two teams from his native county – Omagh CBS and St Patrick’s Academy, Dungannon - contesting the final. Later that afternoon he might well have been especially happy on seeing the school that he had established for boys in Dungannon back in 1887 returning with ‘his’ Cup.

St Patrick’s, Dungannon 2-7 Omagh CBS 1-9

Healy Park, Omagh was the venue on St Patrick’s Day 2009 for the season’s MacRory Cup shoot-out. The ‘home’ side quickly raced into the lead thanks largely to the skill, vision and finishing of Peter Harte, Omagh’s only survivor from their 2007 triumph. Academy’s Niall McKenna stopped the bleeding with a well-taken goal on the approach to half-time.

Dungannon started the second half with purpose and when Niall McKenna was fouled by Stephen Mullan as he bore down on goal. Dermot Thornton scored the resultant penalty to put his side ahead. Ciaran Gervin floated over two more scores. Omagh’s Harte and Conor Grugan combined to reduce the gap to a single point, but try as they might ‘The Brothers’ side could not find an equaliser.

Thus St Patrick’s Academy, Dungannon became the first Tyrone side to win back-to-back titles as well as the first school to retain the title since St. Colman’s, Newry in 1998.

St. Patrick’s, Dungannon: Niall Morgan (Edenork), Peter Muldoon (Dungannon), Brian Kelly (Cookstown), John Grimley (Clonmore), Shea McGarrity (Cookstown), Gavin Teague (Ardboe), Dan Toner (Donaghmore), David Lavery (Maghery), John Loughran (Dungannon), Stephen Small (Killeshill), Ciaran Gervin (Derrylaughan),[0-2] Liam Gervin (Derrylaughan),[0-1], Kiefer Morgan (Dungannon), [0-3], Niall McKenna (Donaghmore),[1-0] Dermot Thornton (Coalisland),[1-1].

Subs: Quinn for McGarrity.

Coach: Ciaran Gourley

Omagh C.B.S. – Ronan McAnenley (Eirigal Ciaran), Declan Connolly (Augher), Sean Warnock (Greencastle), Finbar McQuaid (Augher), Stephen McRory (Eirigal Ciaran), [0-1], Aodhan O’Donnell (Dromore), Stephen Mullan (Omagh), Conor Grugan (Omagh),[0-1], Sean Harper (Castlederg), Peter Harte capt., (Eirigal Ciaran), [1-4], Ronan O’Neill (Omagh), Brian McGarvey (Gortin), Jason Donnelly (Fintona), Colm Hicks (Glenelly), [0-1], Ryan Lynch (Eirrigal Ciaran). [0-2].

Subs: McCullagh for Donnelly, Canavan for Harper.

Coach: Conor McFlynn

History will be repeating itself on this coming Sunday in Armagh (February 11th) when the same two sides face each other to decide who will be MacRory Cup Centenary champions for 1923-’24.