St Patrick’s, Maghera trio named on Future Stars hurling select

Five schools gained their first awards based on this season’s performances

McKeever Sports QUB Future Stars hurling team.jpg
The McKeever Sports QUB Future Stars hurling team (Brendan Digney)

DANSKE Bank Foresters’ Cup champions St Patrick’s, Maghera have three players included in the McKeever Sports QUB Future Stars hurling team.

Full-back Niall McNicholl, team captain Pádraig O’Kane and top-scorer Ruairí Biggs all made the cut in trials held over the Easter break at the Dub.

St Louis, Ballymena, defeated in the Foresters’ Cup final by Maghera, have two players included in the selection – Loughgiel’s Eddie Smyth and Cushendall’s Fionntán Bradley.

There is a second Ruairí Óg player in the team – Conor McCann from St Killian’s, Garron Tower – and a second Loughgiel player, Ashdon McGarry, who won the Foresters’ Shield with Cross & Passion, Ballycastle.

CPC have two others on the team, Caodhán Crawford and Oisin McCallin, and all three played in the Mageean Cup final at the start of January. Their inclusion means that Cross and Passion have had at least three players included in each of the four Future Stars hurling teams announced to date.

At the other end of the spectrum are five schools gaining their first awards, including St Colm’s, Draperstown, who have both Patrick McDaid and Paul McNicholl featuring in the forward line. McNicholl also appears in the football team, the first player to appear in both teams in the same year.

Three Belfast schools and St Benedict’s, Randalstown make up the other first-timers – Dylan McLarnon (St Benedict’s), Seán Óg McLarnon (De La Salle), Caolán Wilson (St Mary’s CBGS) and Rónán Taylor (Rathmore Grammar).

Padraic McKeever managing director of McKeever Sports who sponsored the awards said:

“We are delighted to be involved with the Queen’s Future Stars programme and are always proud to be involved in showcasing the talent, pride, and passion of the students around the country.

“We are committed to continuously finding new ways of improving the performance of our products, and in turn the athletes who wear them. Our goal is to bring freshness, innovation, and excellent service to each of our customers.

“We look forward to the success of all the Queens Future Stars athletes in 2023 and beyond.”

McKeever Sports QUB Future Stars hurling team

1 Caolán McFerran (De La Salle, Belfast)

2 Ashdon McGarry (Cross & Passion, Ballycastle)

3 Niall McNicholl (St Patrick’s, Maghera)

4 Eddie Smyth (St Louis, Ballymena)

5 Conor McCann (St Killian’s, Garron Tower)

6 Pádraig O’Kane (St Patrick’s, Maghera)

7 Dylan McLarnon (St Benedict’s, Randalstown)

8 Rónán Taylor (Rathmore Grammar)

9 Caolán Wilson (St Mary’s CBGS, Belfast)

10 Fionn Bradley (St Louis, Ballymena)

11 Caodhan Crawford (Cross & Passion, Ballycastle)

12 Patrick McDaid (St Colm’s, Draperstown)

13 Oisin McCallin (Cross & Passion, Ballycastle)

14 Ruairí Biggs (St Patrick’s, Maghera)

15 Paul McNicholl (St Colm’s, Draperstown)