St Joseph’s are Ulster champions once again!

March 3, 2014

Danske Bank Nolan Cup final

St Joseph’s Crossmaglen 2-9 Lumen Christi Derry 0-6

St Joseph’s, Crossmaglen are once again celebrating their boys Gaelic team successes. On Wednesday 26th February St Joseph’s, following up their U-16 Herald Cup win, picked up the Danske Bank Nolan Cup. This achievement is even more remarkable since this is the school’s first year of entry to U-18 Colleges’ football.

Played in the windswept Tyrone Centre of Excellence, Garvaghy, St Joseph’s were slow to start against the breeze and points from Michael McLaughlin, CJ Martin and Jamie Devine had the Derry boys in front. The game’s first goal came just seven minutes from the break when Conor Connolly’s attempt at a point from a 30 metre free dipped under the bar to level the match at 1-0 to 0-3 and from then on the eventual winners dominated their opponents to the finish.  St Joseph’s then added three points through Johnny McKeever (0-2) and free-taker Miceal McCabe to a solitary reply from McLaughlin to lead 1-3 to 0-4 at the break.

St Joseph’s built on the great composure shown playing against the wind by adding more attacking flair with the winds at their back. Miceal McCabe, top scored with 3 second half frees to take his total to four as Callum Kierans weighed in by raising two more white flags before arguably the point of the match from substitute John Rafferty as gallant Lumen Christi with points from McLaughlin and Ciaran Flanagan did very well to contain their opponents to just 6 second half points.

Confirmation that the Cup was heading to Crossmaglen came 7 minutes from time when a speculative effort from 40 metres from impressive midfielder and captain Arnas Dzinkevicius produced the second goal of the game. That score sealed the win and allowed the management team to run the bench in the last few minutes safe in the knowledge that their panel of players had created another piece of school history. Buoyed by their victorious Herald Cup contingent, along with players who have previously tasted success at Ulster level, earlier in their school careers, St Joseph’s impressively used their big-game experience when it mattered most as they comfortably controlled the match as it entered the final stages.

Captain Arnas Dzinkevicius lifted the cup along with Conor Connolly. This was the third time that both these boys experienced Ulster success at St Joseph’s.

St Joseph’s will now meet the Ulster Vocational Schools Champions Magherfelt Tech on Tuesday 4th March at 4pm in St Paul’s GAC, Lurgan which will decide who goes forward to represent Ulster Schools in the Marsito All-Ireland Series on Saturday 8th March.

St Joseph’s would like to thank their kind sponsors Raymond Watters of the Old Coach Inn, Castleblaney; Superbites, Crossmaglen; PT Fitness, Carnbeg, Dundalk; Moley Coaches and Casey’s Spar Culloville for their contribution to the team’s success.

St Joseph’s : Eoghan Mc Donnell, Conor Traynor, Shane Farrelly, Sean Garvey, Declan Reel, Fearghal Mackin, Daniel Cunningham, Arnas Dzinkevicius capt(1-0) Stephen Morris, Johnny Mc Keever (0-2), Conor Connolly (1-0), Sean óg Irwin, Callum Kierans (0-2), Aaron Duffy, Miceal McCabe (0-4) Subs : John Rafferty (0-1) for Traynor, James Meegan for Dzinkevicius, Fergal Burns for Kierans

Lumen Christi : Shea Nicell, Patrick McLaughlin, Tiarnan O`Kane, Stephen Doherty, Pearse Bradley, Conal McGlinchey capt., Daniel McLaughlin, Leo Casey, Ciaran Flanagan (0-1), CJ Martin (0-1), Jamie Devine (0-1), Emmett Carlin, Ronan Reilly, Emmett Deane, Michael McLaughlin (0-3) Subs: Sean Doherty for D.McLaughlin, James Corry for Carlin, Cormac Gillen for Martin