Loreto College - Coleraine, Co. Derry, Northern Ireland
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Loreto College’s Rafferty Cup team, with coach Mr S. Murtagh - View Full Size Image
Loreto College’s Rafferty Cup team, with coach Mr S. Murtagh

The Year 11-12 Gaelic Football team from Loreto College shocked a confident team from St Columb’s College Derry to win through to the College’s first final of the Danske Bank Ulster Colleges Rafferty Cup on Friday 14th November.

Even though the St Columb’s team scored 20 times in the semi final, the Derry side still couldn’t prevent Loreto College reaching their first ever Danske Bank Rafferty Cup final. Loreto found the St Columb’s net five times, crucially three times during the seven minutes after half time. Those scores put them in control of the game and St Columb’s in the end couldn’t catch them.

A goal from Mark Cassidy in only the second attack Loreto had didn’t discourage St Columb’s, who responded with eight points in a row during the middle of the first half. However, a penalty strike from Conor Gillan after a foul on Liam Tosh reeled St Columb’s in to a single point deficit at the break, 2-5 to 0-12.

There was a blistering start to the second half with goals from Aidan McGonigle, Sean Quinn and then McGonigle again putting Loreto at a commanding 5-7 to 0-14 advantage. St Columb’s hit back but didn’t really make inroads until a goal two minutes from time. Despite five minutes of injury time, however, Loreto held firm to reach the Ulster Final, where they will play Armagh opposition, either St Paul’s, Bessbrook or St Michael’s, Lurgan who face off on Monday.

On the Loreto scoresheet were Aidan McGonigle 2-1, Conor Gillan 1-6, Sean Quinn 1-0, Mark Cassidy 1-0, Fearghal Close 0-1, Fearghal Dillon 0-1, Shane McIntyre 0-1.

The Loreto team, and their coach Mr Sean Murtagh, were congratulated on this historic success by Mr Michael James, Principal of Loreto College.  Mr Murtagh paid tribute to the dedication of every member of the team, adding that the achievement was all the more remarkable given that this was the team’s first season playing in the ‘B’ Division following promotion last year.