Loreto College - Coleraine, Co. Derry, Northern Ireland
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The Y9 Gaelic Football team, winners of the Ulster Colleges Irish News Cup, with coach, Mr S. Murtagh - View Full Size Image
The Y9 Gaelic Football team, winners of the Ulster Colleges Irish News Cup, with coach, Mr S. Murtagh

There was jubilation for the Year 9 Gaelic team from Loreto College on Thursday 14th May as, following an heroic campaign, the team ran out victorious from a tightly-contested Ulster Final.

The team, coached by Mr Sean Murtagh, qualified for the Final of the Ulster Colleges Irish News Cup, facing a tough team from Our Lady’s Secondary School, Castleblayney.

Although Josh Mone opened the scoring for Our Lady’s, Castlblayney with the first of his four goals, Coleraine captain Dara Mooney slotted home a penalty in the tenth minute to give his side a lead they only briefly conceded during the rest of the match.

Kostos Papachristopoulos punched home a second Coleraine goal after 16 minutes, and although Mone responded with a fine individual goal, Castleblaney trailed by 2-6 to 2-4 at the turnover and still had to face the stiff breeze.

Leo Passmore, who had pulled off a great triple save in the first half, was back in action again at the start of the second half as Our Lady’s pushed hard for goals. He saved point-blank from Andrew Connolly but was beaten in the 35th minute when Mone completed his hat-trick in response to a goal from substitute Ruairi Kelly. Coleraine hit their fourth goal in the 38th minute with Mooney firing home his second spot-kick and minutes later that man Mone was through again and claiming a four major.

However after Paul Rafferty cut in from the left wing and blasted home from a narrow angle for the ninth goal of the game, Castleblayney’s challenge began to fade and Coleraine pulled away with great points from Michael óg McKeown, Aidan Gillan and free-taker Dara Mooney.

Loreto were able to vary their approach up front and a number of players stretched the Monaghan school’s back-line. A strong opening half into the breeze helped Loreto, Coleraine collect the Danske Bank Irish News Cup, with a final score of Loreto, Coleraine 5-15 Our Lady’s, Castleblayney 4-5.  The Loreto team members were: L Passmore, N Maloney, J Mullan, E Gormley, C Kearney, E McKeever, O McLarnon, D O’Kane 0-2, A Gillen 0-3, 0-1, P Rafferty 1-0, D Mooney capt.2-6, 2-4 frees, C Bradley 0-1, M óg McKeown 0-3, K Papachristopoulos 1-0, P McGonigle. Subs : R Kelly 1-1 for K Papachristopoulos, C Kilmartin for P McGonigle, C Calvert for N Maloney, B Dillon for P Rafferty.

Mr Michael James, Principal of Loreto College, paid tribute to the skill and dedication of the team members following their victory, congratulating the team and their coach on a tremendous victory.  Team coach Mr Sean Murtagh congratulated the boys on a spirited campaign and dedicated training, commenting that this young side shows great promise for the future.