MacRory Cup Champions 2023
Omagh CBS captured their fifth MacRory Cup title at the expense of Tyrone rivals Holy Trinity Cookstown in Healy Park. A bumper crowd saw Diarmuid McNulty manage the school to the the trophy after he played the last time they won it in 2007.
Click here to access a slection of photographs taken at the game by our wonderful school photographer Mr C Eccles.
For Holy Trinity, it’s now back-to-back final defeats for the Cookstown school and that will hurt after they had begun the game so well.
However, once Omagh got a foothold in the game there was only going to be one winner.
It was the Holy Trinity who looked the better side in the opening exchanges and they hit 1-1 without reply in the opening six minutes to take a four-point lead.
After a Jack Martin free opened the scoring, the goal arrived when Liam Lawn collected a pass from Conan Devlin to evade three tackles and power through on goal before producing a classy finish past Omagh keeper Conor McAneney.
But Omagh gradually edged their way into proceedings to grab a pair of points, a Ruari McCullagh free and another from Tomas Haigney.
But Cookstown continued to keep their noses in front with another Martin free cancelled out by a fantastic point from play by the impressive Conor Owens at the other end. Shortly after the quarter hour, CBS almost found the net when captain Eoin McElholm poked the ball through to Liam Og Mossey, but his shot was beaten away by Ruairi Dillon in the Holy Trinity goal.
A McCullagh ’45 and a Conor Devlin point from play kept two between the sides with 12 minutes of the opening period still remaining – but for the remainder of the half, it was the school in maroon who took the tie by the scruff of the neck.
Another fine McCullagh free was added to by a fisted effort from Mossey to level the score 1-3 to 0-6 on 20 minutes.
Omagh then hit the front for the first time two minutes later with the superb McCullagh converting a brilliant free of the ground before McElholm got his first of the afternoon soon afterwards.
McCullagh then registered his fourth of the half and his first from play on 28 to give Omagh a 0-9 to 1-3 interval lead.
But, it could have been all change at the break when McAneneny had to react quickly to keep out Martin’s palmed effort on goal for Holy Trinity right on the short whistle.
A Martin free opened the scoring on the restart, but that was soon cancelled out by Haigney. It seemed to be a theme in the second period – every time Holy Trinity looked to get a foothold in the game, Omagh simply responded and kept the scoreboard ticking over.
Owens and Cookstown’s Ryan Quinn traded frees to leave it 0-11 to 1-5 midway through the second half. While Brian Hampsey replied for Holy Trinity, that only served to spur Omagh on to dominate the final quarter of proceedings.
A close range free was soon followed up by Mossey from a forward mark and then Charlie Donnelly off his left boot. That left it 0-14 to 1-6 three minutes from time.
Although Martin tried a shot on goal from a cheeky close range free, it was plucked out of the sky on the line by Barry McMenamin. Further points from the excellent McElholm and a close-range Owens free simply put the icing on the cake for an impressive Omagh outfit.
They now go forward to take on Naas in the Hogan Cup semi-finals.
Holy Trinity Cookstown: R Dillon; M Donnelly, L Cullen, C Devlin (0-1); R Nelis, B Hampsey (0-1), S McCann; R McHugh (C), J Martin (0-3, all frees); Conan Devlin, Cormac Devlin, H Cunningham; R Quinn (0-1), free), M McElhatton, L Lawn (1-0)
Subs: S Hughes for Donnelly (H-T), J Concannon for Nelis (43mins), K McGuigan for Martin (60mins)
Omagh CBS: C McAneney; N Farry, B McMenamin, Kerr; Caolan Donnelly, C Daly, T Haigney (0-2); E Donaghy, Charlie Donnelly (0-1); C Watson, E McElholm (C) (0-2), L McCullagh; R McCullagh (0-5, 2f, 1’45), C Owens (0-4, 2f), L Og Mossey (0-2, 1 Mark)
Subs: D McCallan for L McCullagh (43mins), N McCarney for Watson (50 mins), C McConnell for R McCullagh (60mins) ****
Referee: Martin McNally (Monaghan)
Match report courtesy of Gareth McCullough Downtown Radio