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The Y9 Gaelic Team, who have won through to the Final of the Ulster Colleges Irish News Year 9 Cup - View Full Size Image
The Y9 Gaelic Team, who have won through to the Final of the Ulster Colleges Irish News Year 9 Cup

The Year 9 Gaelic team from Loreto College Coleraine has won through to the Final of the Ulster Colleges Irish News Year 9 Cup, following a successful season under Coach Mr Seán Murtagh.

Following tough training sessions twice weekly since January, the team has played four matches to date, and have been rewarded for their commitment.

The boys’ campaign began with a strong home win over St Louis’ Grammar School Ballymena.  They then played St. Joseph’s Donaghmore at the Meadowbank Sports Arena in Magherafelt and won 7-8 to 3-7.  Facing a strong breeze in the first half, the team kept things tight, going into half time with a draw.  After the break, Loreto had the breeze in their favour and ended up with a relatively easy victory, with strong showings from Pearce McGonigle , Odhran McLarnon, Donal O’Kane and  team Captain Dara Mooney.  This was followed by a very comfortable win over Holy Cross Strabane, played in Loreto’s own ground, meaning that the Loreto team qualified top of its section to go through to Ulster Semi-Finals of the Ulster College’s Irish News Cup.

After a long break, with training continuing, the Loreto side played its Ulster Semi Final on Thursday 23rd April, against Aquinas Grammar School Belfast, in the excellent facilities at Cargain, near Toomebridge.  The physically smaller Loreto side trailed by 3 points at half time.  After some strategic changing of positions to try to increase energy around the middle of the pitch, the Loreto team scored several goals within a ten minute spell in the second half, not only taking the lead but going well clear with some substitutions towards the end, the game ended up as a win by 10 points for Loreto, qualifying for the Ulster Final. There were particularly strong performances by Cathal Bradley, Michael Og McKeown, Paul Rafferty and James Mullan in the first half.  Rory Kelly and Aidan Gillen fired in a number of goals to put Loreto in the lead, with  team Captain Dara Mooney and Vice Captains Eoin McKeever and Odhran McLarnon controlling the middle of the pitch.

Mr Seán Murtagh, team coach, paid tribute to the 33 players who have trained hard throughout the year, and who represent a wide catchment of clubs – Glenullin, Eoghan Rua, Dungiven, Kilrea, Ballerin Sarsfields, Limavady Wolfhounds, Rasharkin and Dunloy Cuchullains.  Mr Murtagh and the team were wished every success in the Ulster Final by Mr Michael James, Principal of Loreto, on behalf of all the staff and students of the College.