Masita GAA Post Primary Schools Hogan Cup semi-final
Omagh CBS v Naas CBS (Saturday, St Tiernach’s Park, 2.15pm)
TWO schools with one Hogan Cup each to their name will bid to take a step further to making that two when they meet in this year’s semi-final.
The Tyrone lads recently bridged a 16-year gap to win their fifth MacRory Cup title and they would dearly love to follow the class of 2007 and go all the way to All-Ireland glory as well.
Standing in their way of an appearance at Croke Park are current holders Naas CBS.
Omagh certainly had to work hard to take provincial honours, coming from two points down with six minutes to go against St Colman’s, Newry in the quarter-final before winning by the same margin, while in the semi-final against Patrician, Carrickmacross they were three adrift early in the second half before coming through by the minimum margin.
No doubt their best display came last day out when they emerged convincing 0-16 to 1-6 winners over Tyrone neighbours Holy Trinity.
In that game they recovered from conceding an early goal to lead by three points at the break and in the second half they comfortably held their opponents.
Under the management of Pat McNabb and Diarmuid McNulty, they are a side that is laced with quality players who like to move the ball quickly and at pace.
Tomas Haigney was man of the match in the MacRory final at left half-back with two fine scores to his name and along with Callum Daly, Barry McMenamin and Nathan Farry they will have to be on their toes against the Kildare lads.
Eoghan Donaghy will hope to give them a solid platform in midfield, while up front Conor Owens, Ruairi McCullagh, Liam Óg Mossey and team captain Eoin McElholm are all capable of taking any opportunities that come their way.
Naas CBS have certainly come to the forefront of Leinster schools’ football in recent times, having appeared in the last five provincial finals, winning four.
They lost out in the Hogan final in 2019 and after the competition wasn’t played in the next two years they then went one better 12 months ago when edging past St.Brendans, Killarney in a real cracker, 3-14 to 2-15.
They had to pull out all the stops to beat Moate Community School in this year’s Leinster decider, 0-11 to 0-9, their Offaly opponents hitting the woodwork in the closing stages as they searched for a match-winning goal.
Last year’s experience will stand to them and they have two survivors from that side, full-back Charlie Murphy and left corner-back Cian Boran.
Austin Brennan and Tom Kelly form their midfield partnership, while in attack Ryan Sinkey, Carl Lennox, Stephen Kelly and Callum Barrett weighed in with 0-10 between them in the Leinster final.