Loreto College - Coleraine, Co. Derry, Northern Ireland
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Loreto College team captain Dara Mooney is presented with the Ulster Schools Treanor Cup - View Full Size Image
Loreto College team captain Dara Mooney is presented with the Ulster Schools Treanor Cup
Loreto College team captain Dara Mooney holds the Ulster Schools Treanor Cup - View Full Size Image
Loreto College team captain Dara Mooney holds the Ulster Schools Treanor Cup
The victorious Loreto College Treanor Cup team - View Full Size Image
The victorious Loreto College Treanor Cup team

Loreto College Coleraine emerged as Ulster Schools Treanor Cup champions following a tightly-contested Final against St Paul’s High School Bessbrook on Wednesday 12th April.

Loreto College had had a superb run through the opening stages of the competition, finishing top of their group in the first phase.  Loreto went on to defeat St Patrick’s Grammar School Armagh in the Quarter Finals and Holy Trinity College Cookstown in the Semi Final, under the expert coaching leadership of teachers Mr Sean Murtagh and Mr Conrad Deighan.

The Final was contested at Edendork. Co. Tyrone, against St Paul’s Bessbrook and featured some brilliant individual performances from within both teams as well as outstanding team performances. 

Each team played their best football into the stiff breeze and both managed to squander easier scoring opportunities with wind assistance. But the two Loreto goals during the second half made life difficult for Bessbrook and they simply fell just short of closing the gap between the teams near the end.

James Mullan set the tone for the game by fielding the throw-in and taking off on a solo-run to pop over the first point. However by the 16th minute Loreto were 1-5 to 0-3 in arrears, the goal coming from a mistake as they carried the ball out of defence. A quick free later and Ethan McAfee was scrambling the ball off his line only for Shay Magill to sweep it home. However Paul Rafferty responded with a point and then a goal, after he carried the ball around two defenders and, off-balance, despatched it to the net.

The teams turned around with Bessbrook 1-6 to 1-5 ahead and the elements favoured Coleraine. Rafferty and Conor Kearney pointed to put them ahead but Magill equalised and then injured captain Dara Mooney entered the fray to stroke over a sublime point from the left wing. Bessbrook however were back in front by the 43rd minute when Donal O’Kane fielded a kick-out and drove through for a Loreto goal and a 2-9 to 1-10 score-line. Magill and Lúc Mallon drew the teams level again before Conor Kearney found the net for Coleraine, and Ben Dillon added a point.

St Paul’s refused to back down and Magill, Paul McNally and Sean Boylan hit back with points as they closed in. However Conor Kearney’s point four minutes from the end gave Coleraine a little space to hold out and claim a first title at this level for 19 years, with a final score of Loreto Coleraine 3-11 St Paul’s Bessbrook 1-16.

Mr Michael James, Principal of Loreto College, paid tribute to the very dedicated members of the Treanor Cup team, who had shown immense determination throughout the campaign, and to the inspiration and leadership shown by team coaches Mr Sean Murtagh and Mr Conrad Deighan.  With much to look forward to from these talented young players, many of whom were on the Year 9 team which lifted the Irish News Cup two years ago, Loreto College looks forward to more excitement on the Gaelic pitch in the years ahead.

Loreto: E McAfee, N Moloney, E Morrison, E McKeever, C Mullan, A Gillen, O McLarnon 0-3 frees, D O’Kane 1-0, J Mullan 0-1, C Kearney 1-2, C Bradley, B Dillon 0-1, P McGonigle, K Papachristopolous, P Rafferty 1-3. Subs : D Mooney capt 0-1 for C Bradley (35), C Kilmartin for P McGonigle (54), L Passmore for D O’Kane (61).
St Paul’s: C McParland, F O’Callaghan, S Finnegan, O Coffey, J Burns 0-1, L Rice capt., R McGuinness, C Burns 0-1, J Cunningham, T Kelly, O King, L Mallon 0-3, S Boylan 0-1, S Magill 1-7, P McNally 0-3