Live coverage of both St Colman's v St Mary's Magherafelt in the MacRory Cup final and Methodist College v RBAI in the Schools' Cup final.
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Afternoon. It is March 17, 2017. Happy St Patrick's Day. Welcome to
Armagh. Welcome to the Danske Bank MacRory Cup final. The teams have
arrived. St Mary's Magherafelt first in the hand first off the bus. Will
it be a first for them this afternoon? They have the game faces
on. They know they are in the big one hand on the cusp of history. And
then St Colman's of Newry. A Crossmaglen man captaining them this
afternoon. Rian O'Neill. There he is. He is very much in the zone.
They have come out in their numbers on St Patrick's Day. Selfies
all-round. And they are all after the big one. To my immediate left,
the Masterchef and blaster footballer. It is a big day for all
concerned? It is a big day. It is a great day for the grassroots of the
association. St Patrick's Day has always been synonymous with clubs
and the grassroots. There will be a lot of young lads who will find
their feet today. We are looking forward to it. What are you
expecting today? I've saw them both in the semifinals. Really looking
forward to it. We had a one-sided match last year. Today will be
tighter. Great players on show. The teams are ready. First out it is St
Mary's of Magherafelt. Here comes the big -- great big crew. They
appeared first in the final in 1996, then back in 2003. Up goes the roar.
Led out by Declan Cassidy. What a day for them. Can they win it.
Thomas Niblock has been to the convent.
To understand the future, you have to learn from the past. For St
Mary's it has been two finals, two defeats, both to St Patrick's
Magherafelt. However, a recent wind change has brought St Mary's to
life. Part-time free taker. With the semifinal replay level, a
last-minute free and a last-minute free taker changed the footballing
landscape in South Derry for this year at least. I decided I would
kick it. I knew it was a pressure kick but I decided to put my mind
blank and take it like any other free. I knew it was a serious kick.
But I was glad to see it go over. True happiness. I couldn't believe
it. I couldn't believe it. Get the ball is moving through the
hands. The Devlin link is an important one.
Ronan is the first GAA coordinator to be employed by a school. His
brother died in 2015, a superbly talented footballer with a real
connection to this current squad. When Aaron was training to be a
physio. He volunteered his own time. The play-off game, quarterfinal,
against Armagh. I thought it was a real nice night. To me it was bigger
than the game. We spoke about Aaron before the game. I think even the
mention of his name gave our boys a little bit extra. He was a great
player himself. It was great to have someone like him with us. He will be
with us on Friday. And now St Colman's, the most
successful school in the history of the MacRory Cup. 27 final
appearance. They are going for a 20th title. Today marks a much
storeyed occasion for the McIlroy family. The closing of a circle
which was first opened way back in 1949.
Here is Thomas again. Today St Colman's College are going
for a record 20th MacRory Cup. Their first was back in 1949, followed by
another a year later. PJ McIlroy was in blue and white. This week he
presented the current manager with a gift. Two MacRory Cup medals which
we won in 1949 and 1950. I thought I would let you see them, let the boys
see them. It gives them a bit of incentive. If it gives them 5% more,
that is all you want. It wasn't just MacRory Cups PJ won back-to-back. He
was backed -- part of the Down team that won the all Ireland titles in
1960 and 1961. Today his grandson plays for St Colman's. He brought
his grandson back to the college. Which was the most special? The
first one. The second was a bonus, really. That is the second year.
1950. There was a wind blowing straight down the field. We scored
11 points to nil. They scored 14 points before we replied. In the
second half we scored 13 points. One point in our favour. It was scary
stuff. You came here just after the war,
didn't you? Yes, 1946. It was a fairly robust dean at the time. I
don't ever remember getting on the wrong side of him, but if you did,
God help you. There are some of them still around!
PJ McIlroy still looking fit as a flea. What would it mean to win it?
Let's here from the respective captains. Rian O'Neill and Declan
Cassidy. Declan Cassidy, St Mary's. Ever
since I joined this team in fifth year that is really all I have
thought about, lifting the MacRory Cup, every free period, every class
you're in. Whenever you are bored, you are thinking about football. Now
we are in the final, 90% of my thoughts is on this matter. 16
minutes away from possibly the biggest achievement of my life. My
name is Rian O'Neill. St Colman's college Newry. It would mean
everything to me. That is the main reason I came to the school. To get
your name on the college wall. That is all you want to do when you come
into the college. It would mean the world not just to me but all the
lads to win on the 17th. We are nothing if not balanced here.
We have brought you two old boys for the price of one. Thomas Niblock and
Eunan McConville, formerly of St Mary's and formerly of St Colman's.
Given euro chasing a 20th title today, have you been keeping the
peace? So far, so good. For the college, football runs through it. I
bumped into three former colleges stars, three guys that all have
MacRory Cup medals. That is just taking a dander down the sideline.
Thomas, you played MacRory Cup for Magherafelt against St Colman's
and...? St Colman's won. It is unbelievable how much of effect a
competition like this on you. I remember people asking me if it was
more important to get A-levels or MacRory Cup. I said MacRory Cup was
more important. There is nothing more important in their lives than
winning today. It may seem like a game of football, but it is a
massive -- it has a massive effect at 16, 17. Do a quick handshake.
Handshakes all round. There are the respective principles of the
schools. Cormac Murphy Neill St Colman's. And Deirdre Gillespie of
St Mary's Magherafelt. They know each other very well. Let's bring
the boys in. Roisin and Orion. It's almost showtime. How will it go? It
is fair to say that both of these schools are poles apart as far as
the tradition goes. St Colman's going for a 20th title, St Mary's
for their first. If you had seen these teams before Christmas, you
wouldn't have expected them to be in the final. They have improved in
every single game since then. Both semifinals were tight. I expected to
be tied. I think we are in for a treat. -- tight. St Colman's of the
tradition but St Mary's have the hunger, a little bit like the only
goal winning an all Ireland title? I don't know about that! I'm looking
forward to today. Conditions may have a bearing on it. The young lads
will just go out and play and enjoy the occasion. There is a great
crowd, great atmosphere. One late change for St Colman's, the
goalkeeper. A more established goalkeeper has gone in. Mike Nugent
picked up and injury earlier in the year. He hasn't struggling to get
back. He is back in there. The young lad who went in has done really well
but he wasn't an established keeper. St Colman's will be glad to have
Michael Nugent back today. How big a role well supporters play? For these
young men this is arguably the biggest day of their short careers.
When you run out on the pitch at first, I'm taken away by it. The
noise is unbelievable. When they run out on the pitch they will take it
all in. They will be taking it all in. When the ball is thrown in, they
will be ready to go. Thank you very much. It is most showtime. The 2017
Danske Bank MacRory Cup final, St Mary's of Magherafelt taking on St
Colman's of Newry. Your commentary team, John Rafferty alongside Thomas
Niblock. Thank you. We're ready for action in
the 2017 Danske Bank MacRory Cup. We cannot wait. Odhran Lynch for
Magherafelt between the sticks. Saved a penalty in the semifinal. At
the edge of the square is the important person, Tiernan McAteer.
He scored a last minute, 40 metre free kick in the semifinal. He is
their top scorer. He is one to watch for St Colman's. As for Newry
college, one late change. Goalkeeper Michael Nugent comes in for Mark
Magill. He is between the sticks. A strong defence and a strong
half-backs line. Particularly Branniff. The one to watch, Rian
O'Neill, the captain. He is a prolific scorer. His Crossmaglen
team-mate, Jean McConville, at the edge of the square. There is Rian
O'Neill. Special player, special talent. He has alerted the interest
of Australian rules clubs. A quick word from John Rafferty. You know
about these boys. You are a former St Colman's student and you played
against St Mary's. We just pause for the anthem.
Colman 's Nicola Holloway chilly Hoy, -- Nicolette Hoy, from County
Armagh. What a job Martin McNally has from County Monaghan. The
referee the 2016 McRory Cup final. Plays senior football for his glove.
Here is the bond brothers, the St Mary's team, last-minute
preparations, delivering the speech. Declan Cassidy, that flamboyant red
hair, pushing everybody, getting them sites to the teeth, ready for
battle. If a picture could tell a thousand words, that would be Declan
Cassidy absolutely pumped. Looks as if there are tears coming out of his
eyes. That is what it means, John Rafferty? A massive day for these
youngsters. People have to realise, they are youngsters. You are looking
back two, three generations, families who have succeeded in
McRory Cup. You have McEnroe, playing for Colman's. What we are
set for, is a cracking game of football. The ball is thrown in, we
are in the final of the 2017 McRory Cup. Nobody game near him, polls it
inside, Finn McIlroy. Intelligent ball so the half forward line. Here
is the number 12, McDonnell, still going for the shot. Not going to
curl in enough. What an opportunity for St Colman's. Great opportunity,
to be brutally honest. Young McIlroy had the young fellow on his
shoulder. You have to acknowledge the bravery of the defence. This has
been a hallmark of St Mary's, brave and talented. Superb blocking by
Conor McCluskey. Cassidy decides to go forward, opts to go backwards.
Just getting into the same Colman 's half. The ball has gone loose, but
Magherafelt win it. Matthew under severe pressure. A strong boy
at halfback, that has been a seam of same
-- a theme of St Colman's. We have the options. Matthew McCreesh.
Giving it away. Good tackle, that time by Verity. -- Doherty. It is
hell for leather with Saint Commons. Very measured, very controlled. This
Magherafelt team are very assured with the ball in their hands.
Devlin has been brought in as a coordinator in the school, for Gayla
games, the first time the college has gone down that route. A signal
of intent. And never wide for Newry. The Board of Governors and principal
in the continent, I hope you don't mind me still calling them a
convent. Most people do. They deserve real encouragement are
putting their money where their mouth is, when it comes to
increasing the possibilities for the youngsters. They have a passionate
man, passionate Londonderry man, passionate convent man. The first
run at it, in the McRory Cup final. Opportunity to get the scores up and
running, 30s poor. Most unlike him. Hitting that with the left boot.
Superb Gaelic footballer. Someone with a talent of that, you would
expect him to pop it over the bar. He is Jim's young fella, as soon as
he gets one, to get settled, the sooner the better. He will get on
with it. He comes from great start. St Mary's winning the breaking ball.
Straight into the welcoming hands of Mark Braniff. Switches the play,
tries to get it into the full forward. Wonderful defence by
McCluskey. He got that knock a few minutes ago. Trying to get the ball
up, he was soccer styling it down the sideline. Brilliant defence. I
will tell you one thing, Magherafelt have come forward twice, not getting
anything out of it. There is a resolute defence. Not fouling, not
cynical, honest and hard-working. That will be hard for Saint Commons
to breakdown. Kelly bursting his way through. Trying to play it inside.
Adam Conway does well to secure possession. Leans back, plenty of
height, just lacking direction. A bitter composure required. They are
only children, at 17, they think when they get the laces, the world
is their oyster. This will take 1050 -- 10-50 minutes for them to settle.
What an implements Kevin Brady has made since coming into the college,
around five years ago. It is a misdirected pass, sideline ball.
No score, six minutes gone, does that surprise you? I am a bit
surprised. Two cracking forwards. That is a wonderful point, absolute
superb. Long pass inside, first time we have seen the talented Kevin
small. Hands above his head, pluck it out the sky, controls, sweeping
onto right foot. A sign of a competitively classy player. He gave
his opponent a little touch afterwards to let him know it is in
the ascendancy. We have the mark from the kick outs, but fetching it
on the edge of the square is a real talent. Cassidy, and another man on
the left-hand side, Connelly on the left-hand side. Surely a foul. Just
as either 21. Well won in the end by Liam Quinn. Without a doubt, he
played centre half, forward in both semifinals. Very effective.
Extremely effective player. Runs off the astute. Clever kicking the ball
into him. Definitely was a free. Daniel Bradley, just 16 years of
age. Playing centre forward today, showing no pressure whatsoever. The
Magherafelt crew displaying their voice. They have a little run, this
is their chance. Settle the nerves, putting a bit of pressure onto St
Colman's. To get their first score on the board. Takes the one player,
goes down, gives possession a break in those bright orange boots of Adam
Connelly. Difficult to miss. Another man in coloured boots is the
captain. St Mary's trying to move forward in every opportunity. When
it is bottled up, no problem going backwards. Lovely toe tappers that
St Mary's bringing this game to Magherafelt. Fantastic defence, all
of a sudden the break on. Players coming through unmarked. Options
right or left. Foul. That is not the worst thing that could have happened
for Magherafelt. Two players down the right-hand side unmarked. Ten
and 13 running from deep. O'Neill is the most consistent kicker in the
competition. This will get same Colman is started. -- get St
Colman's started. They are traditionally known as a great ball
for kick passing. Great strike to get them started. Unbelievable
confidence. I was speaking to his mother and grandmother on the way to
the ground. Two very nervous women. Is not what you associate with that
man. His whole family are steeped in GAA, they have it running through
their veins. Also ice water when it comes to free kicks. St Mary's going
to try and win it, they do that. Cassidy tackled from behind, does
well to hold onto the ball. Tries to spit it out. Into the hands of a
white jersey. Great play, can they get the score. Quinn going for the
shot, hitting it over the bar. The score of the game. Young Quinn
proving to be a handful in there. He gets ball popped in front of him, he
would do damage. Michael Nugent with the kick out. Absolutely perfect. As
well to pick out a St Colman's player. Trying to take them on
again. Still maintaining possession. A chip off the block, that boy. Jim
was good at the twisting and turning. They do not get the free
this time, going for the shot, deflected, it will be a 45 for St
Colman's Newry. That man has plenty to think about. He is a great
player, St Colman's through and through. Canon Stevenson welcomed
him back into the front of the school, and said welcome home. I
could remember lifting him as a lad, two years behind me in school. Same
Colman 's ad Croke Park in a final. He is St Colman's through and
through. Despite all the bits and pieces said about him, he keeps
coming back year after year. Looking for his third title as a coach,
lifting him into the upper echelons of McRory Cup managers. Back-to-back
McRory cups. That is phenomenal. There are intercounty players who
would struggle to do that. Intercounty three players who would
struggle that. Kicking it up the hill into the breeze. A bad foul.
O'Neill straightaway over to the referee. This could be problems. Get
the yellow card. A heavy challenge. More awkward, no malice, a big man
in the middle of the field. He has to be very careful. McCann picking
up the yellow card. Murphy coming forward. Why is Cassidy. Goes one
way, then the next. Trying to find some help. Fiennes
-- he finds Doherty. Lovely touch into Daniel Bradley. Dropping short.
Same Colman 's come away with it. Comfortable are collected in the end
by McCarthy, the full-back. St Colman's trying to build from the
fence. Open enough game? You have to acknowledge, we have 13 men behind
the ball, when they get the ball, they want to go forward. None of
this site is side carry on. Awkward bounce, chance of a goal. Coming off
one of the same Colman 's players. Must've taken a deflection off Kevin
small. Harmless Paul Lim, causing havoc into the square. This could
have been a goal. Young Small, small by name, not small by nature, a big,
able fellow. He will cause a lot of bother, if he gets more support, or
better bulls. St Colman's on the attack. This is
bad news first St Mary's. Off the crossbar and over the bar. A superb
point from Jack McCartan. That was absolutely class. The link play was
once again Rian O'Neill. Three points apiece. You can see St
Colman's growing into the game. Quality passes. Jack McCartan gets
it. I remember his uncle, Jim, captaining St Colman's. That is what
they are all about there, quality kick passing and honesty in their
play. St Colman's on the attack yet again. All the players so
comfortable on the ball. Dangerous ball into the square. Brilliantly
won on the edge of the square from Matthew Loughran.
A two man full forward line to aim at. Kevin Small is at the edge of
the square. Tries to get enough bend in it. It drops into the hands of
Michael Nugent. A couple of balls he has had to pick up. The confidence
of Kevin Small is heartening for the convent. They are happy putting the
ball into him. He has young Quinn beside him. They are both capable of
kicking scores. Another ball dropped short into the hands of the
goalkeeper. That is three balls dropped short. St Mary's need to
make these opportunities count. This is the time when they have to keep
the scoreboard ticking. Here comes Young McConville. Jean McConville
did well. -- Jean McConville. Lovely spin and turn from Aaron
Gribben. Potted over the bar. Right foot, left foot, that is incredible.
That is the marginal difference between the teams at the minute.
Three into the keeper's hands. Three lively forwards. Gribbin kicked a
lovely score. The tradition is coming into these fellows. They know
how to play when it comes to MacRory Cup final day. Magherafelt on the
attack again. Brilliantly won by Liam Quinn. Trying to take on his
man. It doesn't have the direction. Another opportunity wasted. A
scratch of the head. The managers have things to think about. It is
hard work down there! It is easier up here than it is down there. At
the end of the day convent are doing everything right but they don't have
the scores on the board yet. Kevin Brady directing operations. St
Colman's starting to exert their dominance in this game now, perhaps.
They are only one point ahead. They are winning all of the breaking ball
in the middle of the field. Aaron Gribben did well to picket up.
Lovely dummy. Just dropped it. The referee has brought it back for the
initial foul. A free kick. You have to acknowledge Martin McNally, 17
minutes into the game and we haven't mentioned him. He is completely
anonymous. If the convent foul anywhere inside of the goal, you
would imagine that St Colman's will punish them. Good refereeing. Two
from two. Trying to make it three from three. Off the deck.
Old-fashioned. Punched away. Magherafelt win the ball. It is a
free kick. Cassidy... Moving his way through.
Trying to play it inside. Brilliantly won in the end by Peter
Fegan. St Colman's yet again on the break. Matthew McCreesh. Trying to
take on his man. He does. Gives it to Jack McCartan. Ride on the
sideline. Weaving his way through. -- right. Another free kick. That
speaks volumes for itself, that one move along. Fegan was doing great
defending in his own square. Son of Paul Fegan. He knocks the ball to
Matthew McRee show, whose father one a MacRory Cup. He knocked the ball
onto Jack McCartan. The McCartans are synonymous with MacRory Cup
success. This is the tradition oozing through the school at the
present time. The ball goes wide. An opportunity
goes begging. A single score between the sides. Ten minutes until the
break. The convent will be happy enough with where there are. If they
can just get a few more scores. They will be confident that they are
competitive and they have a half chance. A diagonal pass from
Cassidy. It has gone out of play. The linesman is not sure which way
it has gone. It has gone to St Mary's. The linesman a wee bit late
with the decision but I think he got it right. St Colman's, way with it.
It would be a free out. The win was a massive factor during the McLarnon
game. We will see highlights at half-time. We'll St Mary's be
disappointed where they are at now taking that into perspective due I
definitely think a few shots that dropped short... Those four shots
dropped short, they could come back to haunt St Mary's in the second
half. Liam Quinn goes to the sideline. St Mary's come away with
it. Long ball into the full-forward line.
McIlroy snatches it back. St Mary's on the charge yet again. Doherty.
The incoming challenge was strong but he did well. Declan Cassidy.
Trying to find some help. Cormac Murphy. Eamon Kelly weaving his way
through the defence. Good play. It has opened up. Just a little too
far. The goalkeeper comes away with it. The referee has given a free
out. It looks as if it was the St Colman's player who found the
goalkeeper. Now, now Thomas, you are supposed to be impartial! I would
say the referee made the right decision. Nugent secured the first
touch and add the feed knocked from under him. We are not going to fall
out! Not yet anyway! I was in both colleges during the week. I asked
the players to describe their managers in three words. A creative
genius, three inspirationals. And these are the words students used
for Kevin Brady. He has made a real big impact. He has the respect of
the players. Kevin was a very skilful player for Antrim. If he had
been playing with other counties he may have had more plaudits. He won a
Sigurdsson cop. He was well respected as being an excellent
footballer all through his county career. -- Sigurosson cup.
It wouldn't surprise me if he ends at the end of this move, McIlroy.
What a battle McCluskey and McConville are having today. A good
intelligent pass to Jack McCartan. Conor O'Neill. O'Neill buries the
shoulder. It was out. It has gone wide. Both coaches need to be
acknowledged for the discipline in the tackling. There is no cynical
pulling and dragging. They are moving their feet. They are tackling
the ball. Fair play to both coaches. St Mary's haven't scored for 15
minutes. It is a long time. They need to get a score just to get
saddle. -- settled. The two number fives. McErlain dips
the shoulder. Gives it to Conor Devlin. -- Conall Devlin. In comes
the kick. It is over. That is a great score. A county minor,
confident, kicks a great score. That settles the confidence. That breaks
the 15 minutes. The battle between McIlroy and Cassidy is terrific. So
clean. And tactically so important. I have no doubt we will be talking
about those players for many years to come across. Sean Kelly tackled
by Rian O'Neill. The referee doesn't blow. An opportunity for St
Colman's. It goes wide. That is most unlike them. Young Gribben was
outside him. He might have had the better shot. I have been
particularly impressed by Jack McCartan. In many teams wing have
forwards do not get any benefit. -- half. Jack McCartan has worked his
socks off. Three words to describe that man, Carl Murray. Ruthless,
loves the GAA. Don't drop it short. I spent last Thursday in the school.
I asked the players to put on their boots so we could get a nice shot of
them coming out. I thought he would take their head off my shoulders! I
could give you three words to describe him as well but we would
have to put it on after nine o'clock. Kevin Small pops it over
the bar. His second point today. A point that Magherafelt badly needed.
17 minutes without a score until the last two. Popped it over. Kevin
Small is having a very good game. If there is a wee bit of space in the
second half and the ball drops, Kevin Small will have a big
influence on the game. Brilliant catch by Ryan Garvey. Tasty return
pass. The referee blows for a foul. Some of the basic skills today are
absolutely excellent. Rian O'Neill tried to give it inside. That was
well done by MacDonald. He was under pressure. Outside of the boot. Look
at that. It will be a free out. That was some pass by Rian O'Neill.
Cassidy is still going, his third year laying McRory Cup double. Shot
from distance. Wonderful score. Superb point, three on the bounce.
Young Cassidy doing very well. Slipping away from Young Roma.
Could not get the pressure on him. -- young McIlroy. They tried to keep
it in play. Amazing you don't score in 15 minutes, and you can hit that
little purple patch. If you let your opponent play at this level, you
will be punished. High ball into the square, it will be free in. Kevin
small causing big problems. Does not matter which way it goes, the lad is
giving away a physicality to Young's more-macro. The sweeper is not
blocking the ball in front of him. He has to be marking in front, which
he cannot do. It is popped over the bar. Second point, he says it is an
honour to be trained by the great Jim McKeever. Second point today.
Three points between the side, as we approach our time. McIlroy
surrounded by three jerseys. Good tackling. The convent is making hay
while the sun shines. Sean O'Neill told me either side of our times
when you make the impact. It is Matthew McCreesh. Captain of his
club, said it is the biggest honour in his football career. That could
change over the next 45, 50 minutes. Real chance of a goal. Opportunity
to score, great save from the goalkeeper. The danger is still not
clear. The shot comes in, Gribbin knocking it over the bar. A poor
decision from McDonnell, he had him free at the far post. Great save,
keeping the convent in it. Great save from Lynch. Fantastic. He saved
a penalty against Saint Paul's. Straight down the field in the
attack. What a score, Liam Quinn has made a massive impact. So sharp. The
minute the ball left his boot, you could see his right hand in the air,
celebrating before it even crossed the crossbar. Loving the
decision-making processes. The ball was flicked on. Created the
opportunity at the top end of the field. McDonnell was my decision to
go for the ball when a man is inside him. Tiny decisions can make the
difference in a game like this. Fascinating battle. Both men giving
it absolutely everything here. Braneff looked in trouble. Good
refereeing again. Same Colman 's have closed the gap again, two
points. Colman were in the ascendancy. Back to one kick here,
we're in for a cracking second half. What a half of football we have had.
Same Colman is making their way through into the tunnel. A team talk
inspired by the two McRory Cup medals given to them. Half-time
score here... We will be off later in the day to the south of Belfast
for the colleges rugby. The schools cup final that between RBI and IBA.
Threaten to be a good game, exemplary game of football. It has
been tense, both teams very evenly matched. Both forward lanes
struggling. Lynch has been arguably Magherafelt's most important player,
with his kicking. The atmosphere has been absolutely brilliant. Let's go
right back to the start, very early opportunity, McIlroy on his way
through. Brilliant block. Brilliant block. Huge start. If same Colman 's
get a goal, that gives your teams that a list. -- St Colman's. If they
win the game, they may look back on that. Took seven minutes for the
first score. Kevin small. He has been a threat all day. Able to
turning to get over the bar. St Colman's getting to grips
with them. That he is a big man for college football credibility mark.
No shortage of quality it out there. Liam Quinn exemplifies that.
Capacity to get the ball and the score. Exceptional, kicking a point
of his right and left foot. Great to see people from the kick-off, second
point going at his man, turns back. Kicking off his left foot. The
second one is unbelievable. Taking his man on over the bar from 35
yards. A bit of a Breeze St Mary's where playing with, could make a
difference. Your nephew, I do want you to be impartial or partial, he
took no notice of it. His capacity from the free taking. It dragged
same Colman 's back into bed. I don't want to be lauding him too
much, I will have to listen to it. He has been as important player from
dead balls. Very accurate. I have another nephew playing in there,
McConville. From both sides, the way they have gone at the game, very
manly stuff. No laying down off-the-ball, no Mignolet stuff.
They have come here to get on with it. You know me and referees. He has
done a good job. Letting it flow, that is why it is such an
entertaining game. John Rafferty maxing lyrical, Jack McCartan very
prominent. Playing well, couple of great attacks. Crossbar, should've
kept it on deck. The teams are taking the ball, running into the
fence. They are going for putting everything behind it. That could end
up in the net. Having a great match. A lot of players are out there. No
nerves, going out and playing great football. St Mary's had a couple of
goal chances. That was same -- St Colman's third goal chance.
You have mentioned the main man, Lynch having in outstanding game. As
standing committee kicks the ball like intercounty senior goalkeeper.
Picking his man. Another facet to his game. Brilliant save with the
foot. Just before half-time. A goal for St Colman's would have been
massive. It is two points going to be enough of the league it is hard.
The breezes coming down. It is hard to know. Such a great game. St
Mary's have kicked a bootable. Saint Commons could start kicking Mork in
this half. -- St Colman's could start kicking the ball in this half.
All the big names in attendance. I think you have found a few of them.
Still two points in the game. Conditions are not great, but
free-flowing football. Two men you might know. Let's start with you,
you are former college man. I will not remind you about the McRory Cup
final 30 years ago. So far, very tight. St Colman's started well.
Magherafelt full value for their lead. Two points down, against a
very strong breeze. St Colman's playing well. O'Neill is the big
player. Looking for a better second half. Magherafelt very much
in the game. The twin threat of Quinn and Small, they look real
handful for the St Colman's the fence. I agree with Benny, a strong
breeze, blowing straight down the pitch. I would have to say, second
half will definitely favour St Colman's. This is a family day out.
Your son is on the panel, your son won man of the match. This is what
it is about. Already, speaking to people who have won McRory Cups and
loss, all about people going through. Fantastic day, a lot of
these lads when they come to school in the first year, it is their
sporting goal on Saint Patrick stay, to play any McRory Cup or the
McLaren cup. They don't know they will get to represent the county
later on. This is the pinnacle for many of them. Fantastic occasion. I
hope Benny's lad gets on. He plays outfield, and he is a mild-mannered
modest chap. Hopefully he will get a run out and a winners medal. Two
points in the game. I still have the school tie on. Act to mark. I have
to say both Peter and Benny in science year. I think we know why
Peter was in science year. McLaren cup the first match on, it was a
cracker of the game. History was made. Here is our reporter.
James Wilson found the net. Saint Ciaran's College reduced the lead.
From O'Donnell. Cassell Blaney hit back with two fine schools. Not
prepared to let their opponents pull away, two points through Connelly.
Saint Ciaran's took the lead for the first time in the game eight minutes
later. The men from Monaghan hitting back with their second goal of the
game. David Connolly with the finish. Courtney got a point. Both
sides exchanging points before the break. Wilson putting over a three
point. Saint -- Saint Ciaran's college. They
refuse to ease up on the pressure. Another score. Wilson leaven
at that. It will be a free out. That was some pass by Rian O'Neill.
Were you expecting such a tight game? We knew the players they had
were outstanding. A big day out for your school. How much does this
mean? It is the 50th year. The first time being in the McLarnon cup
final. You can hear the cheering. It is an unreal experience.
We are back at the MacRory Cup final. We have the principles here.
This is a big day for the skills? It is. A fabulous day. A dream come
trip. 1100 pupils, nearly 200 staff. It has been tremendous the last
couple of weeks. We are delighted to be here on St Patrick's Day. I'm
trying to remain impartial. This is a huge thing? It is a wonderful,
wonderful occasion. The spirit of the colleges here. We have got
wonderful support from our own pupils, past pupils. The whole
school community. We are enjoying the whole experience. It is what the
spirit of the St Colman's is all about, MacRory Cup final on the 17th
of March. A wonderful occasion. St Colman's going for 20 titles. St
Mary's trying to seek their maiden one.
Thank you to the respective principles. -- principals. Let me
take you to the McLarnon. Some outstanding performances. Could it
be an omen for the day, first time winners of the McLarnon? Is two
points enough of a lead? The only thing I would say about Magherafelt
playing against the wind in the second half, I don't think they will
be perturbed. They play a running game. They have a lot of runners
coming from the full-back line. They have a good outlet boulder Declan
Cassidy. I don't think they will be too perturbed. You would expect a
wee bit more from St Colman's. From what I've seen so far, Magherafelt
look very balanced. They have so much threat up front. The slightly
less talked about guys have stepped up. That is what you find on days
like this. To be fair to St Mary's, they have been very much on top
towards the middle sector of the game. You look at St Colman's, their
goal threat has probably been a little sharper. You would expect a
goal might be decisive in the second half? Yes. I think we will get a
goal. There have been enough chances. I think it will be a huge
score the weather gets it. A goal gives a team such a lift. -- whoever
gets it. Who gets it is the million-dollar question. Who is the
more pressure on? St Colman's aiming to become the first team to win it
20 times. Is there more pressure on St Mary's just to get over the line?
How difficult is it? It is really difficult. When you haven't been
there before, it's to push on and get over the line. There is pressure
on both teams. A lot of the talk has been about St Colman's. St Colman's
to collect the 20th title. St Mary's Magherafelt have been buoyed by
that. They have used the first 30 minutes to prove the point. Thanks
for the meantime. John Rafferty is alongside Thomas Niblock.
The 2017 MacRory Cup final. Perfect timing. The ball is thrown in.
Magherafelt with possession. Dragged down. A free in. What can we
expect in the second half? I fancy it could be young Cassidy's half.
Playing against the breeze suits him. I thought McIlroy had a good 20
minutes on him. He struggled a wee bit in the next ten. Fairly direct
ball into the lively full forward line for St Colman's could be the
key for them getting the scores to win the game. Three St Colman's
players surrounding McErlain. They protest their innocence but a free
kick has been given. The referee has brought it forward. That is the
first show of ill discipline from St Colman's. This is closer. It is most
unlike a St Colman's team to be in discipline. Cathal Murray is a
strict disciplinarian. He expects the highest standards. That is why I
commended him for the first half. Cormac Murphy on the attack. Still
going. St Mary's have the opening score of the second half. A great
score from Adam Connolly. He wants to be a civil engineer when he
leaves school. He was navigating his way through that defence. That was
an important score. St Colman's would have won the first score of
the second half. The convent building on the momentum of the last
five minutes of the first hour. St Colman's will want to get a score to
get steady. A great score from young Connolly. Great tackle from Liam
Quinn. Coming back to defend at every possible opportunity. St
Colman's have it though. Aaron Gribben finds Rian O'Neill. Will it
curl in it doesn't. It goes wide. A bit ambitious. He has kicked them
the whole way through the competition. He gave a display of
kicking against St Ronan's in the semifinal that was second to none.
The display he gave was second to none. A sideline ball for St
Colman's. Taken quickly. Great tackle from behind. It has opened
up. Kelly still going. Diagonal pass.
Kevin Small tried to grab it and he was grabbed from behind. Free in.
That is very clever football. The convent are building on their
momentum. They are taking their time. Kevin Small is creating a
handful of himself at the edge of the square for the convent. A free
into St Mary's. Daniel Bradley will be the man to take it. He has scored
five points in both semifinal games against St Paul's. He has scored
another today. That is his third this afternoon. So straightaway we
have a replacement for St Colman's. The man coming on is Owen Burrows.
-- Byrne. He has lightning pace. I would imagine the convent has done
its homework on him. Matthew McCreesh making way. The referee has
called them back. It will be a free kick to St Colman's. Again, Martin
McNally is having a very good game. It is one thing keeping up with the
play and getting in the road of it. Cathal Murray is not happy because
he is not giving a free kick. He is going to hop the ball. St Colman's
have it. Battling for every single snap of possession. Those last 20
seconds epitomised two teams putting everything on the line to win every
single ball. It is a snapshot of the whole game, the way the convent are
scrapping for everything. The convent always renowned for having
ability. Ronan Devlin has put a hunger into these boys. St Colman's
a wee bit out of it. They need to shake themselves. St Mary's have
scored seven times either side of half-time. St Colman's have scored
twice. The five minutes before and after half time very much in the
hands of the convent. That shot went wide. I would say that is the first
mistake that lad has made today. He is having a horse of a game for the
convent. They look more likely to get these course to win the game.
They are creeping ahead. St Colman's not on the pace. They will need to
get on it soon. St Mary's still have possession.
Cormac Murphy. He gives it to Liam Quinn. Trying to play it forward. He
was taken out of it. Play on. Kevin Small... He putted over the bar. A
great score. -- put it. That is a black card, no question. Nobody saw
it. McDonald gets away with it. -- McDonnell. All of a sudden there is
daylight between the teams. Confidence has grown in the
conference -- convent. They are in a great position. That was a shot from
Aaron Gribben. Let's look at it again. Here is Kevin Small. Both
feet, both hands, decision making on the ball. Not afraid to go for it.
That is commendable. Look at that angle. That is unbelievable. To get
the power and direction. The goalkeeper and narrowing the angle.
A forward hanging off the back of him as he was doing it. A lot of
young fellows would try to force it down the keeper's throat and into
the net. He knows a point is a good score. It puts them a wee bit
further ahead. The convent are in control and St Colman's are
struggling to get back into the game. Ross Carr has come on. And he
is indeed the son of the former Down player, Ross Carr. They have a
little bit of work to do. They trailed by five points. -- Trail.
Here comes McCluskey. The only college all-star on the field.
Cassidy took it at pace. Kevin Small tried to win it. St Colman's do just
about enough. You can see the threat there. St Mary's are growing in
confidence. The longer they stay in front, the more confident they will
be. Aaron Gribben trying to take on his man. Trying to create that
little bit of space. It is not a point. It goes wide. It would be a
goal kick to St Mary's. A shake of the head. Aaron Gribben. Cathal
Murray understands that St Colman's needs to put a little bit of urgency
into their game. They have a lot to do in very little time. They need a
score to get themselves saddle. McIlroy... Here is the cornerback
Chris Killen. That is a big point for St Colman's. That is an
inspirational score. That is what you are Class A by is a big score.
-- classify. Some of the smaller names are getting more into the game
for St Colman's but their big guns are not firing on all cylinders. The
convent are well worth their lead. Declan Cassidy... Two big players
going for it. Cassidy made it. He went himself and he knocked it over
the bar. Making perhaps the wise choice. He did have Kevin Small at
the back post. A point is a great score up that hill. When you are
called a Cassidy coming from Bellaghy, it is a queer start. If he
gets space, he will punish St Colman's. A good score.
Chance of a goal. It saved by the keeper. Shot of the right boot,
goalkeeper with a big hand, Lynch having a massive game. Young Lynch
with three outstanding saves for the convent. He has kept them well in
contention, to near enough the end of the third quarter of the game.
Four points between the sides. Nobody at home with the long ball.
Wasted opportunity. Another goal kick. Conversation between Garvey
and O'Neill. Disappointed he was not presented with the opportunity. The
fellow you want taking the shots. Goal kick did not go quite as
intended. St Colman's have it. Unable to get the score. Real
opportunity. Blocked. Out for the 45. The cutback, on their head. That
might have been his first touch. They went direct, he was going to
make them foul him, stepped back, Gaydon offenders a chance. Great
blog. You have to acknowledge the blocks and the saves that the
convent have made. Devlin with the block, he set up the free in the
semifinal. This one goes to the right, going wide. That will be the
opportunity, St Mary's smelling blood. This is starting to slip away
from St Colman's, they will have to pull together, or one of their
players with a flash of brilliance to get them back in the game. The
convent, if they get a sniff of the win, they will go for the throat.
McAteer, coming on, said winning the McRory Cup will be the proud is
moment of his life. McCann making way. The kick out is straight again.
He is like a rugby player hitting the conversion. Declan Cassidy with
two men in front of him, managing to get up and pull away from both of
them. Kevin small allowing it to go past him. Gives him time and space
to pick it up. Small, still going. The referee looking at it. Deciding
there is no foul. Liam Quinn, that is a fantastic ball to Kelly. He is
foul. What about that for a pass. Going one way, rare you see a pass
like that in Gaelic football. Great passage of play. That might be in
coaching videos later in the year. The ball knocked into space.
Possession retained until the man comes off the shoulder. McElroy had
no other option other than prevent the goal-scoring chance. Daniel
Bradley said during the week that Kevin Brady, the manager knows his
stuff when it comes to Gaelic football. He puts that man on the
frees. It is the wing half forward, the halfback, Kelly, going three. Is
that a yellow card? It is untidy, uncomfortable. A man that is grown
and grown in confidence. McAlinden. McAteer getting his first meaningful
touch since coming on as substitute. They are content to go backwards,
acres of space on the right hand side. Kelly running it is space.
Tackled, his opponent comes away with it. Trying to get out of their
own half, they have possession. Three St Mary's players running
after O'Neill. Goes for the shot himself. Great score. That is some
score, if you take it from the tackle but young Garvey made, all
the way up to the man on the end of the chance. Superb kick. He said the
main reason he decided to go to St Colman's Newry was to win the McRory
Cup. Four points between the sides. Connelly picking up possession.
Again they turned defence into attack. Brilliantly won by Liam
Quinn. In his last year at St Mary's. Daniel Bradley, trying to
find Kevin Small, overcooked, it goes wide. Lovely composure about
the way that Magherafelt are playing. Decisions on the ball, full
of running. Doing the basics well, in the ascendancy if they can keep
it going. McElroy, people will not realise he's English, born in
London. Very much a Newry player today. St Colman's scoring
sporadically. You expect Magherafelt to score every time. I was very
fortunate to be taught by both men there. The Kit Kat to be taken by
Lynch. His dad was a former dairy letter. --
Derry class, love, lazy style into the ball. A slight dummy shimmy.
What we're looking at is a man of the match performance. Kevin Small.
He has kicked amazing scores the range of scores he has given,
absolutely top drawer. Read says it is a free end. The referee has had a
superb game. They have been through this before,
Magherafelt, St Colman's will have recent experience. St Colman's have
had it easy so far, all of the games. Two man tackle. Referee
giving a free in. These St Colman's player, particularly Ryan Garvey
stressing it should have been a penalty. Initial tackle outside the
square. I have to say, it was 13.1 metres away from the goal. That was
close. Colman's starting to grow with confidence.
Another important school. -- score. St Mary's building from the back,
yet again they lead by three points. Given possession away. Here comes St
Colman's. Looking dangerous on every single opportunity. Wonderful blog.
O'Neill, under pressure, gives it to his colleague. That will goes wide.
Two or three chances, you would have expected them to tap over the bar.
The only thing is they are creating chances. There could still be a goal
there. Into the last ten minutes. Pressure on both teams. St Mary's
Magherafelt have only been here twice in finals. To date is St
Colman's 27 final. History to be made in 10-12 winners. Another
opportunity going left. -- minutes. If they had popped over those
opportunities, they would be a single point between the sides. He
knows it, he wants more urgency at that players. They are creating
chances, but they have to leave them on the scoreboard. Lynch, kicking
the ball high into the middle of the field. St Mary's winning that one,
that is important. Daniel Bradley, inside. Murphy, still going, will he
take the point? Driven down from behind. A free from the 13. The
battery going to his notebook. There could be trouble here. The referee
giving a black card. There can be no real complaints. Chris Killen. The
lad will be disappointed to get a black card. He has kicked a good
point to claw St Colman's back. If he had got past him, it would have
been a goal, and game over. Sometimes you have to put the team
first. That is an important score. Four points different from three
points. You now have two Clear kicks. One of them has to be a goal.
Saint Commons want to get themselves together here. -- St Colman's.
They are on the attack again. O'Neill barging his way through. The
shop does not go over. The umpires look at each other, it does. A real
Rolls-Royce. IFT -- I have to hand it to Saint
Commons are not going their way. St Colman's only attack. This will
go right to the very end. How they were able to pick up a player from
that angle, I will never understand. Two men going for it. The referee
giving the free from the 13. We don't have the benefit of a replay.
Martin McNally does not have the benefit. It looks very close. The
lad was pulled to the ground. O'Neill knocking it over. He has
scored one goal and 21 points in the last three games. His fifth point.
That is tight. The convent are living on their luck at the present
time. The initial was contact. The pull-down was in the square. If this
goes down to the wire, they will not be too happy with that. You are
absolutely right. That should have been a penalty. St Mary's on the
attack. The referee says play on. What a pointless -- what a point.
The convent are keeping ahead. They have been here before in the last
two games. They are used to it now. Still so much time to go. Just under
five minutes of normal time. Three points between the sides.
McAteer has made a difference since coming on. There were three
different players surrounding Rian O'Neill. He could still get a shot
off. St Colman's still have possession. Matthew Loughran wins
it. The man who got the block at the start of the game. Space at a
premium. St Mary's when the free kick. St Mary's out growing in
confidence. O'Neill did well to win that ball. It is slipping away from
St Colman's. It will take a big moment to turn this game in their
favour. Liam Quinn broke his ankle against Fermanagh macro. All of a
sudden St Mary's have possession. St Colman's have few defenders. It is
now saying comment on the attack. The ball into the square... Picked
off the ground at the second time of asking by Conall Devlin. He is
having a horse of a game. Look at that. People talk about transition
from defence into attack. Young Devlin is putting on a show of that
particular skill. Such pressure. It is hard to imagine these young men
are 16 and 17 years old. We're looking at a great game but they
are, they are only children. St Colman's are persistent and looking
further a goal chance when they have enough opportunities to keep the
scoreboard ticking with a point at a time. Cormac Murphy... The referee
has given a free end. McIlroy is incensed by that decision.
Absolutely raging with the referee. He needs to keep quiet. Don't give
away ground! There was the tackle. At this stage, puts the arm in,
doesn't put the -- bring the arm out. The referee has prodded forward
to the 21 metre line in front of the goals. Again it is back to four
points. This is the insurance one if this lad can landed. They say
pressure is for tyres. There hasn't been a problem for St Mary's when it
comes to free taking. And just as I say it... A point would be a good
score. The shot eventually comes and eventually goes over the bar. The
convent both on the field and in the stands and up in the commentary box,
they sensed the victory. A middle-aged man, sorry, a young man
getting excited! Margaret, Ring out the Dhif erasure! -- bring out the
defibrillator! Margaret is the producer, a county Down woman.
St Mary's come away with it. The convent from Magherafelt. On the
cliff edge of history. 17 points to 13. Four points between the teams.
There are going to be four minutes of additional time. Four points
between the sides. St Mary's on the go again. Young Quinn, look up. He
gets nothing from it! An opportunity like that can really sink things.
The only thing with Magherafelt, every substitution is 30 seconds or
a minute. Four minutes could end up five. That would give St Colman's
the opportunity to get something. Another substitution. Jamie McCowan
is coming on. -- Jamie McCowan. Adam Connolly makes his way off. Connolly
said it would be the proudest achievement of his life if he were
to win the MacRory Cup today. He takes the handshakes from his
colleagues. There is still plenty to do in this game. St Mary's come away
with it. It is Matthew Rogers, the substitute. Kevin Small, another
Creggan man. There is the point. That is it. The MacRory Cup seems
destined to be going to south Derry. It is not the first time you've said
that, Thomas. The only differences it is going somewhere else in South
Derry. There is a real genuine, tangible need for it. And it is game
over. Magherafelt finishing this game extremely strongly. You can see
the players. The substitutes. Dying to get on the field of play. Dying
to start the celebrations. There is still time remaining. The kick out
was all the way out. A free kick to St Colman's. I am delighted for
Kevin Brady and the coaching staff. Union Conway is in there, the
bursar. It is always good to get the bursar on your site! They are making
history here. It is a free kick. There are two balls. Sean Kelly
wasn't going to make that easy for a quick 45 to be taken. They have no
option but to drop it into the square. Unbelievably, there is six
points between the teams. This is going to be a Hail Mary job but they
will not get six scores. Rian O'Neill drags down. The referee says
no. He is surrounded by players. It looks almost like a scrum. The
referee blows the whistle. History is made. St Mary's Magherafelt have
won the 2017 MacRory Cup! They have been the best team on the day.
Straightaway onto the field of play. Wonderful scenes on the pitch.
Absolutely superb. The players are going absolutely bananas. I think
the principle is out there to get the players back in so they don't
tramp the grass! She is wearing high-heeled shoes! She won't mind.
There is the principal, Deirdre Gillespie. There is a man who had a
massive impact. Conall Devlin. I asked him to tell me something I
didn't know about him. He said, I am Batman. Look what it means. Success
for the first time on the biggest stage in college football. St Mary's
Magherafelt have done it. Congratulations. Congratulations.
I'm St Patrick's Day teenagers get a lot of bad press for their conduct.
But there are boys and girls on the field at the present time and they
are a credit to their school. Rian O'Neill, such disappointment. You
can see the pain etched on every single player for St Colman's. It
was such a close game right to the very end. They had a penalty showed
that no doubt Karl Murray will look at at the end of this game. What it
is St Mary's who have won the MacRory Cup. There is Conor
McCluskey. An all-star. There is a very disappointed St Colman's
player. Superb scenes. People might not understand when it comes back
home, this is the biggest thing in their lives at this stage. You have
to acknowledge something you said. Look at young Cassidy hogging the
keeper. Three brilliant saves. If ever a man's phase could tell a
story of what it means to win a MacRory Cup, there it is. Absolutely
brilliant. Look at that emotion. Raw energy coming from every pore.
Absolutely amazing scenes at the Athletic Grounds. -- the Atleti
grounds. We have the man of the match. Let's go pitch side. Conor
Cassidy... You have just went and won a MacRory Cup. How does it feel?
Indescribable. The best feeling of my life. Yes! This is the first time
for your school. What does it mean for this group of players? This is
everything. The first MacRory Cup ever. Nothing will ever compare to
this. Nothing will ever compare. Your school has gone close twice. It
has lost twice. View our winners today. I couldn't be happier. This
is the least we deserve, the effort and work we put in this year. With
regards to the match today, St Colman's came in with a huge
pedigree. Obviously you had to overcome that. And you really went
for it? Well... CHEERING.
Declan Cassidy, a proud captain. A history making captain. Man of the
match chosen by Martin McConnell. Oisin and Ryan Micky Yule alongside
me. He was outstanding. You could have made a good case for Kevin
Small as well. Let's take a closer look at Cassidy. A day of history?
An unbelievable day for St Mary's Magherafelt. We should say at this
stage they really deserved it. He was pivotal to everything that
happened. It was a brilliant outlet. A strong runner with the ball. He is
able to get a score when they needed. He was a captain, he was a
leader. One of the best players on the
field. Kevin Small, you could also argue that he could have got man of
the match. Richly deserved for Declan Cassidy.
We are looking at the men who have made history. And alongside me here
in the stands is the man who has guided them to history, as you look
at those boys. Your boys, Kevin. What does this day, this hour, this
moment mean? We didn't want to think about it too much beforehand. Your
mind can skip to what the celebrations would be like. I tried
not to let that happen. Now that it has, we are delighted, over the
moon. In 1970 Seven St Patrick's made the breakthrough and went on to
do brilliant things. We saw what it means to your team. However you done
it? I don't know. We have been in two finals before, I suppose. This
year I saw something different. They had great skill levels, great
potential. As time went on, we saw that this team was onto something.
We worked with them, Ron and Devlin and John, the whole backroom team.
We have done a great job. It is such an emotional day. Ronan's brother no
longer with us. But these guys imbued by his spirit? Definitely. He
was with the team a few years ago. He did physio. Just having him
there, we had a match earlier in the competition and it was very
poignant. I am delighted for him and everyone. Let me take you back to
2017, March 17, two points ahead at half-time. Did you think it would be
enough? We weren't sure. We'll knew they would put big Rian O'Neill into
full-forward and he caused us a lot of bother. Perhaps they were a bit
unlucky. St Colman's are a great team, it was a great match. I'm sure
it was very exciting for the neutral. I would like to pay tribute
to St Colman's and to Karl Murray. Let's here from the top woman, the
principal. The very proud principle. She said four years ago when she got
the job she was going to win the MacRory Cup.
MacRory Cup winners 2017. Deirdre Gillespie, we can see what this
means. -- means. Fantastic. It is a dream come true. We have wanted this
for a long time. Third time lucky. Complete credit to these boys and
the coaching team. The whole staff, the whole community.
A dream come true. It was a very tight game. You kept
your noses in front. You played fantastically? I asked them this
morning before they left to play with pride and passion and they
didn't let me down. We are delighted. We will be celebrating
for a week. The presentation is about to happen.
Go on ahead. There you have heard it from the
players, from the principal. There is a man getting man of the match.
It is well worthy. A worthy recipient. We are going to be
talking about him in years to come. He is a talent to go on and Playford
Derry. Big happy smiling faces. The man of the match award will not mean
as much do that young man as the next little piece of silverware. A
wonderful achievement. They have won three McLarnon cups. They have never
won MacRory Cup. They have lost two finals. They never scored in the
second half the last time there were in a MacRory Cup final.
Here is Jimmy Smith. I would like to thank our sponsors
for the wonderful sponsorship of the competition throughout the year. But
today is about the McRory Cup. There can only be one winner going on the
McCrory Cup, and for the footballers of St Mary's Magherafelt, a
wonderful history in the day of their school. There can be any one
team to win it for the first time, that honour goes to these men on my
left. Our behalf of Ulster Schools, I would like to congratulate them on
their historic victory. I would like to thank all the teachers in our
schools, who have looked after our teams throughout the 70 competitions
this year. All 134 schools whose teachers gave up their time to look
after our young players, and to produce the men we have seen here
today. I would like to congratulate the teachers in charge of the St
Mary's team can Kevin Brady and his men. I would now like to presents
the McRory Cup to the captain from St Mary's Magherafelt. Declan
Cassidy of St Mary's Magherafelt. I am delighted to except in the
recap on the heart of my school. I would like to thank everybody
helping us on the journey to this historic victory. Ulster Schools GAA
for organising the McRory Cup competition. The standard of Gaelic
football has never been higher. I would like to thank St Colman's for
such a sporting game. I would like to acknowledge the match officials,
who turned out. I would like to thank the match officials, who turn
out in rain, hail or snow, they would be no matches without it. I
would like to thank our sponsors, for putting your name behind us, all
the great gear. Closer to home, I would like to thank our McRory Cup
management team for all the advice and guidance. Mr Brady, and the
team. It has been their day. It has been the day of days for young Mr
Cassidy, and is history making cohort. They are McRory Cup
champions of the year 2017. Shane and Ryan still alongside me. You
cannot help but marvel at the sites. First-time winners, something unique
and special. Something unique and special, not only first-time
winners, but with an atmosphere such as D-Day, the game played in great
spirits. St Mary's Magherafelt get away with huge credit. They played
the game in the way it should be played. In Declan Cassidy they have
a leader, somebody able to step up to the mark. A lot of other players
throughout the field who can do that. From this occasion, St Mary's
Magherafelt deserving victory. Much to admire, much to mull over and
debate. We will get to the nitty-gritty in a moment. First,
Kevin Small, must have been a contender for man of the match. He
had a huge match. He would be pushing for a man of the match.
Winning his own ball. People watching the game, you have to be
fit to bring your own ball. Kicking off the right or left peg. Great to
watch. Huge match, big scores at vital times. As a young man, a
teenager, this is the day you dream. But it's all coming together. You
asking about pressure, he would stand up and perform, he was one of
the players the field who stood up and perform. Even the little flick
point he got towards the end of the game, that was magnificent. Arguably
this is the best goal, his best scoring game. Absolutely brilliant.
It is just natural. He does not think of anything else. In
modern-day football, not too many of these boys hanging around this if
Derry can get him fit and raring to go to prices in the future. St
Colman's came back into it, Chris Killen igniting them, taking a point
well. Also black Cardiff. Should the black card have been given? I don't
know. Great score, the cornerback coming off the pitch. Does not even
think about it. On the black card, I don't think it should have been
given. Does not mean to pull him down. Hard to interpret the black
card. Does not really dragged into ground. At this stage, the game
turned, St Colman's took off the sweeper, putting on a forward. They
were pushing out on Lynch's kick outs, having success. Opportunities
to get back in the game. That Magherafelt always got the extra
point, Poore points in front. Keeping the three, four point gap.
Stating the obvious, in their keeper, outstanding, a man in the
form of his life today. He did a phenomenal match. Could have been in
contention for man of the match. Huge moment in the game. His kicking
was outstanding today. Magherafelt controlled the game until the last
ten - 15 minutes. This saves speak for themselves. Out of this world.
12 is right, wonders left. Phenomenal game of RAM. Pulling off
a save or two like this, you grow, and feel like you are unbeatable.
Very commanding under the high ball. At the end of the game, when it was
raining forward. He was causing them a lot of bull. Looked as if he had
the composer today. Out on the field, relying on your goalkeeper to
have the composure, exuding around the rest of the team. Second half,
two penalty queries. Take a look at both of them. Should there have been
penalties? I think he starts the foul outside the box, good decision
by the referee. Just getting him there. Good decision. I don't know
whether you agree. Think that was probably the right decision. This
one here. I know he has his hands on him in the air. The actual foul
committed literally five yards from the girls. Should have been about
it. -- from the goals. On decisions like that, games are decided. No
disrespect to St Colman's, regardless, even if they had stuck
that one in the net, St Mary's looked like they have the capacity
to get forward, and score. Something more balanced about them. You need
the luck in trouble. Little decisions going with Magherafelt,
you always need a bit of luck. A lesson to be learned, never praise
the referee at half-time. He did well enough. The penalties where
-- where titles. It has been enjoyable. It has been a day of
firsts. Could we have a day of firsts at Croke Park? A first for
Derry, Tyrone. A bumper day, have you enjoyed it? Enjoyed it. This is
what college football is all about. Two brilliant games. Very high
standard. Very competitive, football played the way should be played.
Brian, for these young man, first win, Jimmy Smith handing over the
cup, in 67, 50 years ago, they went on to win at Hogan. Looking at what
it still means, do these guys have it within them to push on, making an
impact at all island level? Definitely, a great side. -- all
Ireland level. They have a great keeper. It is a great competition,
one of the best competitions in the GAA. Thoroughly enjoy coming here,
last year as well. Great atmosphere, everything about it great to see.
Fede for fathers and sons. We have found a family down there. -- a day
for fathers. Kevin, we have to start with you. What does it feel like? It
is unreal, never happened before in the school. How did the match gave
for you? It was tough the first hour. We had the wind, we knew the
game plan was running off-the-ball. We are fit team. We wanted to stick
that in the second half. We pulled away, winning the second half by
more than move won the first. Kevin, what does it feel like, as a parent,
to watch your son winning that? Very proud to see St Mary's winning for
the first time. They put a lot of work into that. Well done to Cormack
and all the boys. They played brilliant. Well done to all the
boys. Plenty of celebrations, no doubt to come in Macca felt.
My thanks to the entire BBC Sporting. That includes you two. The
clock is counting down. Very shortly after the Belfast in the company of
my colleague Gavin Andrews. We will leave you with the enduring images
of the day. Congratulations to St Mary's on
their MacRory Cup success. But now the focus switches to rugby and the
141st schools cup final. RBAI against Methodist College.
Schoolboys have dreamt of being here on the 17th of March. As a rugby
players you don't get too many chances to realise that dream. It
comes around once or twice in a lifetime, if you are lucky. And
after a year's hard work... On and off the pitch. It is all about
taking it in. Living in the moment. Scoring a try. It is all about the
winning. And creating memories that last a lifetime. It is the biggest
day in schoolboy rugby in Ulster. Methody and RBAI have made the short
trip to the Kingsbarns Stadium. Despite the weather, it will be
rocking for the next two and a half hours. -- Kingspan Stadium. The fans
are making a fair bit of noise. The selfies are on show. Flags and
scarves at the ready. That afternoon. It is that time
again. St Patrick's Day wouldn't be the same without the schools cup
final. Alongside me, two men from different eras with plenty of
experience. Ian Humphreys and an Ulster and Ireland great, Willie
Anderson. The weather has been OK. It is holding out so far. Fantastic.
It has just tried a up for us. Hopefully we will have a great game
of rugby. Willie, one of those great days in the sporting calendar? It is
fantastic. In 1967I saw my first final. It really is exciting. I
think it is a fabulous exhibition for the end of the year of schoolboy
rugby. A different vintage beside you. Ian, memories of 1989?
Obviously mixed emotions. Two finals but two losses. As you look back on
a career, those are two of the highlights, playing with the makes
you came through school with. Shame about the results. How much does it
come down to coping with the occasion? Massively so. It is a big
pitch. Bigger than schoolboys are used to. It can be quite heavy. And
it is on TV. A huge occasion. I hope the nerves do not get the better of
them. As per usual, it is RBAI and Methody again? Absolutely, they
always seem to come through. Methody are the dark horses. They have done
it the hard way. Winning in Armagh. Getting through. Everybody felt it
was going to be Ballymena in the final. That's the way it goes.
Methody will be strong. Let's meet the teams. Let's here from Methody,
back in the final for the first time since 2014. Instead aiming for three
wins in a row. Both teams happy to take on their closest rivals.
It's massive. If you are going to ask any Methody people who'd they'd
want to finish their schoolboy career against in the final, it
would be RBAI. It is always a big game. It doesn't get much bigger
than playing Methody in a final. RBAI have in the form team this
season. I'm sure they won't enjoy playing us in the final. Massive
rivalry. Different atmosphere when they face each other. But ultimately
a lot of respect between the schools. It is a big rivalry but it
is one everybody enjoys. The boys play hard on the pitch. They know
each other so well off the pitch. There is a healthy respect between
the schools. You put that behind you when you get
on the pitch. We have played them through junior school. It is always
a great match. If you're lucky enough to get one
final, but I have been very lucky because this is my third. To lead at
the boys on St Patrick's Day day will be a massive honour. Watching
young men out there putting their best skills against the other top
team in the province. It is great. You get the atmosphere of all the
pupils and past peoples coming back. They have a real affiliation to
their school. Such a great celebration of schoolboy rugby. It
is a real privilege to be part of it. I haven't seen a group from
Christmas time on who moved on as well as these guys have. I want them
to do the best on the day and get what deserve. Obviously it would be
sweeter from their end if they beat Methody to win three in a row. It
will be sweeter if we beat RBI to when the final. -- RBAI. But
ultimately it is about who goes up there to lift that trophy.
Save to say they are up for it. It is an intense rivalry but there is
respect? There is tremendous respect. To fabulous coaches with
great experience. Not just of the schools rugby but also club rugby as
well. They will take that experience in. They know every little single
ward there is. They will be trying to exploit it today. So much
history? These are the teams who have played most in the final. The
big thing for me is the RBAI defence. They have only conceded 11
points. Dan Soper has brought almost like a professionalism this year. --
a professionalism. It will be a big game and I will be interested to see
how they go. Let's hope we see some running rugby. Let's sample some of
the atmosphere. Thank you. The tension is building
-- the tension is building. Both sets of players just gone back into
the dressing room having finished their warm ups. I am joined by Paul
Marshall. You have experienced playing in a final with Methody.
What was that like? It is a fantastic location for everybody.
The noise is building ready. It will be the highlight of their careers in
school and they will hope to kick on in the Ulster and Ireland collars. A
lot of people talking about the experience of RBAI. Will that be a
factor? I think for some it will give them confidence. Methody are
definitely the underdogs. If you are playing in a final, there is less
pressure if you are underdogs. The conditions are pretty tough. It will
be who controls the game best. You are familiar with a lot of the
Methody players. Nick Wells is a former coach of yours. Who should we
be looking out for? Methody are strong at scrum-half. Jonny Jordan.
It'll be interesting. In terms of Methody, their back row, their
forwards will be well drilled generally. Their back row will be
strong. The centre pairing is strong as well. It will be interesting to
see how they go. That is it from us on the touchline. Back to you.
Paul Marshall still looks like a schoolboy, doesn't he? He does!
Great to see him here. What do you make of the standard? You are
involved with the Ulster Academy. Is the standard on the up? It is. We
have seen a lot of great players from schools level and on the 19s. A
couple of them are playing today. In fact, four of them. Exceptional
talent. That is what we have to build on. To bring these players
through for Ulster. It is really ramping up. We will talk
specifically about some of the talent on show. Ian, you have picked
specifically Michael Lowry. This is his third final. He has a lot of
experience of playing schools rugby. The other great game in the
semifinal. He is a small guy. He is targeted by the opposition but he
hits a lot harder than his size. His ball carrying, his distribution... A
bit of pace, a bit of awareness. Showing a lovely dummy and going the
length. He has a bit of Paddy Jackson about him. Is similar
stature. It shows the experience and the leadership that he has got.
Willie, you have had a look at Paul curve Methody. He had an exceptional
game against B Ore. He scored a couple of tries. He is a robust and
strong player. -- Belfast Royal Academy. He will have a stronger
defence against him today. But he is one that RBAI have to keep an eye
on. As we look at some of the highlights, Paul Kerr, I suppose for
the players, how do they cope with this pressure and this occasion?
This is where it will be building. They are in the changing room. They
are thinking about being on TV, in front of their schools. You have to
have a positive mindset. That is where the experience of the coaches
will, going to play. They have to be excited. The RBAI guys will be full
of confidence after a good win in the semifinal. Methody have had some
great wins and they will be keen to do a good show today. This is a key
time when the coach gets to say the final words? You would like to think
of this state is the captain will have the final word. That is their
job from now on when they get across the whitewash. Ireland boss Joe
Schmidt took this time to send a message to the finalists.
Lads, I know it is coming up to the final of the Ulster Schools' Cup and
it will be a super occasion. I know both teams will be well motivated.
All the best two RBAI and Methody. I'm sure it will be a fantastic
match. May the best team win. If you are
watching, enjoy the game. Good luck tomorrow. He may not be watching
today, he might be busy. Final predictions? I have a sneaking
feeling that RBAI have too much experience and too many top-quality
players in their ranks. But we can't write off Methody. They have been
here, they are underdogs. They will give it a fight. It comes down to
who performs on the day. RBAI will be favourites. They have been slow
starters. I fancy RBAI coming through today. More from the man at
half-time. The teams are almost ready. We will get across to our
commentary team, Tony McWhirter and on the microphone for his 40th
Ulster Schools' Cup final, Jim Neilly.
Alas, Saint Patrick hasn't quite turned up the warm side of the
stone. The final of the second oldest rugby club addition in the
world -- second oldest rugby club competition in the world... This is
the 141st final. Methody in their 63rd final. RBAI in their 67.
Methody and won 35, RBAI 31. RBAI hope the gap will be closing after
today. I'm certain the chaps from Malone Road will have a big say. It
promises to be a cracker. The final has been played here since 1924.
Calum Green will be contesting his third final. -- Callum read.
Matty Loane is joined in an impressive back row by Kelly and
Gallagher. Experience in the centre. On the wing is Ethan McIlroy, whose
brother was a winner in 2009. Oisin Quinn is the referee. He has the
looking forward to this one. It is gone to be Methodist College to kick
this game off. Perhaps a little bit of breeze in their favour. That is a
decent kick. That is not a bad kick. Methody have to be very careful.
Larmour has decided to run this. Methody setting out their stall.
Well won back by the Methody pack. Good tackling, J Finnegan coming in.
O'Donnell opting for the narrow side. Armstrong goes down to ground.
Hat-trick scorer in the semifinal. Outrageous little dummy from
O'Donnell, did not quite get away with it.
Callum Reid, powerful prop forward. They get the penalty, good start.
All about ball retention. Good afternoon gym, everybody. The
initial kick, long, putting pressure. Good ball retention. The
initial penalty given away at the breakdown. Should be good kicking
for both sides. James Hume will have a shot at goal. His third year in
the first 15, second successive final. About six feet two. Just
under 16 stone. A lot of international centre three quarters
is not as big as this fellow. All three points for RBAI in last year's
final. Included a converted try. Three minutes gone, still no score.
Trying to keep it flat, as the wind. Just past the left-hand upright.
Straight through, Michael Lowry. Lovely little backhanded flick to
his hooker. Cleverly done. A list of skills shown by the men in black and
yellow. Lowry back in position. Good, aggressive stuff by the
holders. That might be turned over, good, aggressive play. Good defence
by MCB. Really putting the rush on. Anybody watching this afternoon,
Young McClory, wearing the scrum cap, he has the full package, in
terms of playing rugby football. Good pace, good tackle. Did not find
touch. MCB up very quickly. The ball was spilled forward by Dermot
Wallace, the second row. Cameron Kelly on this occasion, real Vokes
rush. O'Donnell looking to hit the first receiver, flying up into the
tackles, they know first contact is important. Considerably heavier than
Methodist College. The average wait a few years ago was 15 and a half
stones. Well taken by Cameron Kelly. Here comes Finnegan. Started on the
wing a few years ago, full-back last year. Well kicked by O'Donnell. Well
taken by Doherty. Lyttle making a tackle first. Jordan in quickly. The
skipper was back there, the scrum-half. Not committing too many
men to the breakdown, interesting. Gibbons speak tallest man in the MCB
team. That will be all the way back. Good
pressure. Solid midfield. Really going around the fringes. The
challenge was well wrapped up. Unfortunate mistake, very sweet
contact. A shot of the senior coach, Nicky Wells, who took over from his
dad. Winning his first ever Schools Cup final in 74, the first of three
in a row. Well stolen by MCB. Well read, picked off nicely. Jordan,
inside 22, line-out. A great steel, and a crucial steel.
Simply picked off in front of David McCann.
Cheeky dummy by the scrum-half. He needs a bit of help. Gets it from
the open side. That will be a penalty. All the pressure coming
from the holders. Not able to finish things off. MCB coughing up the
ball. If they manage to get the turnover, important experiences such
a large part of the afternoon, they just need to play their game.
Davidson was on the bench last year, starting the counterattack. Omar
just putting a toe in touch. Came off the bench last year. 13 of last
year's matched a 22 back in action for RBAI. 11 of the squad starting
today. Daniel Saber keeps turning out the scenes. Very strong right
throughout the school. A lot of other six boys. They may have to
start to rebuild again. Good catch and drive by MCB. Still driving
forward. A good drive by Methodist College. Jordan waiting. They have
earned a penalty. Good work, Thomas Gallagher giving his forwards a
round of applause. Something they used very well in the semifinal
against Belfast Royal Academy. Rolling very efficiently. RBAI will
have to be aware of that, a large part of their armoury. Paul care
scored 40 points in the cup. Three of them in the semifinal. Josh
Trainer. Gibbons at the front for MCB. Some hard graft. It is paying
off. Dominating these exchanges. Getting their hands on the ball,
staying on their feet. Preventing MCB from getting the ball on the
ground, winning the scrum for their sizes they had a great game in the
semifinal, against the much vaunted defence. Paddy Finnegan on the near
side of the scrum. A flat ball by Hume. If he held that he was
through. Referee playing advantage to MCB. Trying to counter ruck. Not
putting too many players in there. That is a mistake, gotten loose.
David Lyttle could not snap it up. Must regain possession on the MCB
ten yard line. A bit of ground made. Taken on by Gallagher. James played
for MCB, his brother played for another team. The pass was a bit too
flat. Nothing that they can do on the left wing. Just taking their eye
off-the-ball once or twice. Slightly overcooked pass. Nice refereeing
bike -- by Quinn. Just letting your team
play, making sure the game is nice and fast.
His dad is a writer, director, nominated for an Academy award,
about 16 or 17 years ago. Hard to believe that in the hundred and 31st
final, only the 15th between these two sides. Two the dominant sides in
the cup, amazing they have only met on 15 occasions. Given competition
has grown unchanged, in recent years, moving away from the open
draw to seeded teams, quite surprising they have met only on
that number of occasions. That was not altogether straight. Omar, not
the biggest number rate in the world, but very quick. The running
game is not really clicked yet. A step by Hume, well tackle. That was
not forward. They get on fine tuning is not there at the moment. The
outside backs are a little bit overeager. Playing the runaround
play. Coming short. Well Marshall. -- well marshalled. You can see what
the game is. Cal Reeva is the main ball-carrier. Smashing over the gain
line. Johnny Jordan playing it under 18
and U19 level. Abstraction I think. Well spotted by Quinn. I think
Michael Lowry will go for the corner, good decision by the
captain. Found a very good touch. Solid kick. Going back to the scrum,
you will see a lot of this, you will see a team putting the ball into the
rain scrum, cracking around, coming back to the right-hand side. We will
see a lot of looking for the screen pass. Taking the pressure off the
number nine. Making it easier to clear their lines defensively. Can
they execute the drive? Well tucked in. Little glance. Rambling forward.
MCB managing to hold that down. The referee has the hand-out for a
penalty. The drive forward. Held up very close. Half a metre away. Still
playing advantage. Saunders sitting back. O'Donnell to the near side.
Omar, for the line, squeezed into touch. Still in play. There is the
drive and the try. It is, Omar. Might it Billy McKay be Keith
O'Donnell. Just a dummy pass, around the corner. Impressive. Great
line-out play. In control of the back. 15, 20 metres churning,
keeping their patients. You see the dummy. You see the dummy. Good
score, nothing more than they deserve.
The last one up was Yasser Omar. As he went for the line he was held
short. He did well to keep the ball infield. A little dummy by Rhys
O'Donnell. Talking to his dad, Keith, who lost in the 1980 final to
Methodist College. Methodist College didn't really do much wrong with
their defence. It was just the strength and the poise of Donald
from a couple of yards out. -- Donnal.
Dan Soper and Richard Hedley. What a Beltor! That is a very good kick by
James Hume. He has landed that one. A very good start for the holders.
16 minutes gone. That is a cracking kick. The conditions very blustery.
That is outstanding. I'm not sure that went ten metres.
If it's not ten metres they have the choice of the line-out where the
ball went into touch. Given Inst's Tipperary are weighed and perhaps
superior scrummaging, they have gone for the scrum option. Straightaway
we will see the Inst back line splitting. Michael Lowry will stand
left with David Lyttle and James Hume. We have the electric pace of
David Finnigan. A big right hand side of the pitch to explore. If the
pack can set the platform. Nick Wells will not be panicking. Rhys
O'Donnell has got away... He needs somebody with him. Good support. Yet
huge amount of confidence -- Detroit has given Inst a huge amount of
confidence. -- the try. Methody have got themselves out of
the way. Name-macro have given away the penalty. Great defending my
Methody. -- Inst. The Methody defence has been to verb so far. --
superb. Name-macro look so dangerous. Rhys O'Donnell pulling
the strings. -- Inst. Setting Michael Lowry free. He has been
possibly the most consistent performer this season so far for
Inst. Just over halfway through the first hour. There is 35 minutes in
schools rugby. That has gone long. Good tackle from Thomas Jordan.
Ferocious handoff by big -- big David McCann.
A lot of inside switching by Inst. Hume sweeps are dried -- wide to
Davidson. He get some help from Joe Finnegan. Methody's tackling is
terrific. Play on us, says the referee. He has given the penalty to
Inst. It might have been Thomas Gallagher coming in from an illegal
angle. Rhys O'Donnell found himself in all sorts of trouble. He should
have been able to get back on his feet. The referee deemed it was a
penalty. It was Paul Kerr coming through. He has to try to get back
on his feet quickly. Methody will feel a little harshly treated.
Name-macro have advanced to within six or seven metres of the Methody
line. -- Inst. Good tackle by Bingham. Callum Reid... Pulled down
by the ankle. Soldiers. Infield. -- Saulters. Just over egging the
pudding once again. You can quite clearly see what they are trying to
do. Go around the corner. Rhys O'Donnell has played several inside
passes. It is doing enough to keep the Methody back row honest.
Whenever they can create the quick ball, the ball goes wide. Slightly
in -- ill timed pass on this occasion. Hume is posing ulcers of
questions to Methody. He is drifting wide, he is inside... -- all sorts
of questions. The regular loosehead, Alex Cairns, got knocked out in the
semifinal. There is a 23 day rule in schools rugby that he is not allowed
to play. He missed the final by a matter of days. Methody do well to
get it away. And once again Jonny Jordan has kicked splendidly. Yes,
he did. Trying to get a finger or a hand on it just to slow the ball
down. Great play by the scrum-half. Name-macro have a wee bit of
momentum here. -- Inst. This -- this is very Methodist College style
rugby. Close to the line. Here they go again. It is over! It is a try!
The second try. It is David McCann. That was executed to perfection. You
really couldn't have asked for a better one than that. Like Ireland
last weekend in Cardiff, no overambitious centre came back in to
make a mess of it. -- on like Ireland. David McCann has been
outstanding. We have seen him carry ball, good feed going forward. As a
looked down, puts his head down. Splinters off. He is a big guy with
lots of power. It was made for him by the other forwards. Great
control. Technically superb. He has played for Ulster at under 16, 17
and 18 level. I am sure he will finish playing in the back row, I
would suspect. He is not the tallest fellow.
That was a bit of an old-fashioned toe poke. They didn't get near the
post. He can kick difficult ones and then misses what look like easy
ones. Slightly ominous looking for Methody. It is important to get some
field position. Spend some time in the Inst half and get their own
scoreboard ticking over. Matty Loane got a thump in the back, fairly
legally. I hope he is OK. Well passed by Methodist College.
Ethan McIlroy, the first time he has got ball in hand. This is better by
Methody. More impressive. One. By Armstrong. He has got away. He was
missed by the Inst back row. It has gone forward. That is a fine example
of outside-half play by the youngest member of the Methody team, Thomas
Armstrong. Reminiscent of Paddy Jackson when he played in his first
final as a fifth former. Very much so. Armstrong is taking a flat to
the line. Just unable to finish that of. That is more like it from the
team in white. They need to come back and perhaps get a point for
three, before the interval. Well tackled by Gallagher. What a strong
fellow he is. Methody trying to affect the turnover. Lowry saves the
day for Inst. Methody overanxious. Unfortunate for them. Going over the
top and conceding a penalty when all they had to do was stay on their
feet. It is so difficult. Lowry goes down. It is Armstrong. Not giving
Lowry time to get back on his feet. If he bought himself half a second
he could have picked him up and carried him over the goal line. But
given the circumstances, the adrenaline was flowing. Your natural
instinct is to play the man on the ground. You want that ball. Michael
Lowry was a medallion chain winner in 2014. Hoping to make it the first
three in a row Schools' Cup wins for Earth Inst macro for several years.
Again, Methody not giving the outstanding prop much room. That was
a fine clearing kick. That is a pretty good exit strategy. Yeah, it
was brilliant. Callum Reid is technically good with his feet. He
gets the ball back. The support is there quickly. Rhys O'Donnell buys
him that extra second. You saw the line-out before. Keeping the Methody
back row honest. Allowing them time to clear their lines. Josh Trainor.
Good line-out from Methody. They will try the drive. It is ambitious
to think they can go over from here. That is good protection of the
football by Matty Loane. He has wriggled away from a hand. Thompson,
who made that searing break. Another flat pass. Ken Doherty got himself
flattened there. The Methody full-back. Good tackling by Charlie
Cloke, who nearly didn't make the final. He has been bothered by an
ankle injury. Here come Methody again. Matty Loane, the
inspirational skipper. Taken on by Big Ben Crangle. Weighing in at
about 17 stone. Only a fifth former. The wind playing havoc with just
about everything, including my notes, which have disappeared! Very
noticeable from James Hume, the perspective defensively. He is
making a beeline, trying to shut down the 13, 15 Channel 4 Methody.
If they can just look up, Methody, they can get outside Hume, there is
lots of space. A reverse pass from Rhys O'Donnell. Des O'Donnell would
have been proud of that one. Inspirational in mini rugby.
Derry He goes Calum Reeva. -- Reid. O'Donnell. Well away by Wallace. Not
altogether sure the kick was the right thing to do. Inst has a man
down, it is James Hume. Looks like a rib problem. One hopes is not too
serious, for his sake. I would agree with you, that last passage of play,
if he had looked and given the ball early, he thought he did not have
the pace to outrun his opposite defender. As you say, he has pace to
burn outside. Nice to see him getting a chance to stretch as
lakes, go one-on-one with his opposition. Over five minutes to go.
James Hume seems to be all right again. This is the Methody hooker,
Josh Trainer. Well pulled in by the prop. Finnegan could not gather,
might have done the second attempt. Did he knock it forward? A chance
for Methody. A lot of pace out there.
McIlroy steps back inside. His brother Blaine was a cup winner for
Methody Way back in 2009. Gibbons makes ground for Methody. They could
do her points or two before the interval. They might just get it.
Bursting through the tackle, from Omar. Recycled by Methody.
Bingham. They ran too wide. Thought somebody was going to come in. A
high tackle by Inst. That is the best piece of play we have seen from
Methodist College. The box kick initially, linking. Good to see the
backs and forwards intermingling. The handling skills are magnificent.
You could see what Kerr was trying to do. Just not read by the outside
backs. A big Cole created on the inside. The referee having a word
with James Hume about the tackle. There is Damian McKenzie one of the
Inst try scorers. Seems to be having a problem with the contact lens.
They started playing at this ground in 1924. Before that, mostly at
Balmoral, the Royal Agriculture Society frowns. -- grounds.
Inst living history might repeat itself, 60 years on. Josh Trainer.
Can Methody do what Inst did to them after just 21 minutes. The ball is
in from the back. Here come Methodist College. Pretty close.
Jordan acting as a flank forward. Inst trying to counter right. All
the pressure coming from Malone. Inst managing to hold them out. It
is that close. Tantalising. Here they go again. Third or fourth time
of asking. Still Methody press. Terrific defence by Inst. There are
men over and this must be tried for Methody. It is a try. In the corner.
Methody saving up half another of Inst pressure, conceding to tries.
Bouncing back with a splendid effort of the rain. Great try. Good
composure. Trying to go round the corner. The big Inst forwards
keeping them out. Transferring the ball superbly. Difficult moving the
ball, given the conditions. Keeping your spacing and width. Not an easy
conversion. It is game on again. His first try in the cup, was assigned
do it. Methody now, with a converted try, and a conversion to come. As we
approach our time. Paul Kerr, the top points scorer. 40 points today,
including four tries, three in the semifinal. He has struck that not
badly. Did not quite judge it the way he wanted. It looked as if it
might come back in. I don't think Mickey Wells will be too
disappointed. He will be very pleased about the last six or seven
minutes from his team, mix well. We saw the stats at the start of the
game, the weight advantage that Inst have. That extra stone man really
tells. How well the Methody backline move the ball. Simple passing game
creating the space, beautifully finished. Good restart kick. Inst
giving away the penalty. Has the Methody try unlearn them? --
unnerved them. The Methody guys looked shell-shocked, it was all
Inst. Defending for their lives. A spring in your step, back to one
score, you can smell the finishing line again. A few seconds ago. Well
taken at the front of the Methody line-out. Cameron Clear Lee. Also
representing Leinster at under 17 at and under 18 level. Methody decide
not to put the width in this. They decide not to. Popping it into
touch. Our time here in the 20 17th Ulster Schools Cup final. Tries from
Rhys O'Donnell and David McCann for Inst. Right at the end they tried
the end for Methodist College. A pulsating match, the holders Inst
12-5 Methody. We certainly have our money 's worth so far. Some dramatic
stuff. Inst taking initiative early on, powering their way over. Methody
snaking their way back into it at the end of the first hour. Ian
Humphreys and Willie Anderson, we have a fair bit of value, despite
conditions? It is very blowy, hard to see it on TV. They've team is
very physical, it has been nice they have had the confidence to throw the
off-loads. Inst disappointed they have not got more of a lead. Fair
play to Methody coming back into it. I've impressed with the rugby,
giving it is blowing a gale? Outstanding. Inst really using their
pack to fantastic effect, scoring a couple of tries. Methody using their
backs. As Matt Williams used to say, what champions are made of,
fantastic time to score. That first score from Inst, right up your
street? Yes, Rhys O'Donnell, such a tremendous terry ever player. Great
small. Snapping up the spoils. Like any good scrum-half, presence of
mind. Brilliant. They were battling on the line. Ray conversion by James
Hume, for the seven points. Everybody talks about the Inst
backline, the forwards showing what they can do this week. You would
sacrifice that for kickers today. Very hard out there. Even that last
conversion looking like it would come round. They are doing well.
McCann with the second try, all about the power. He had a couple of
breaks before this. Winning the ball. Fantastic low driving maul by
Inst. Well controlled. Great to see a pack like this, doing exactly
that. Fede for some grand upfront. Took his try fantastically well. How
much of a weapon is a strong set piece at schoolboy level? It is
massive, while the Inst forwards are doing so well, the Methody pack of
getting sucked in. Inst need to use the width. The Methody defence are
using two players for each ruck. Give them more space to attack with
their threats. The back free have so much pace. I think they will come
through second half. Plenty of threat behind from Methody, lovely
move for the try. Did very well, starting from them all. This quality
of handling not seem very often at professional level. No fancy plays.
Simple, good hands. A lot of yards up the middle. The defence gets
sucked into Megiddo, accurate passing. The wind was even a factor
in this try. Very much so. The Methody players standing square,
running straight. Moving the ball very well through the hands.
Fantastic. The Dudley Boyz. Let's see what a former Methody people
made things. Paul has joined me again for the half-time analysis. A
shaky start from Methody. Inst holding onto possession in the
opening quarter? Inst with the lion's share possession. Played
well. Methody will go in 12-5 down, not too disappointed. With the
strong wind behind their backs, they will get more field position. How
important was the score before half-time? Massive. Thomas Armstrong
playing really well. He has the backline moving well. Scoring in the
corner, good try. Looking to get into the right area, put pressure on
them. Armstrong shows they have a strong running game. Something they
will have to use in the second half, with conditions? Definitely. Inst
started well. Rhys O'Donnell, the scrum-half, playing very well,
controlling the forwards, moving the ball well. Inst trying to get the
ball into James Hume's hand. Strong centre. Not surprise if he gets more
ball in this far. The players are back on the pitch, we will get right
back down to Gavin. Schoolboy rugby, they are standing in waiting. More
from you at full-time. We will hand you back to Tony and the gym.
COMMENTATOR: The strength of the wind has increased. Causing problems
for kickers and passes. They can cope with rain, but the wind makes
it a complete loss. Particularly one as important as this one. Getting
the second half under way. Inst have not been in three successive finals
since the 1960s. 60, 61, 62. A schoolboy error, but a fairly petty
error. Giving possession and advantage straight back to Methodist
College, the last thing Inst want to do. The last thing you from Michael
Lowry. Nerves? That score before half-time has rattled Inst. No doubt
about that. One would have expected him to put down an attempt. One
thing James Hume is very good, fast and good in the air. Lowry
completely overcooking that. Jordan looking where his backside. Most
deployed to the left-hand side. Thomas Gallagher bringing it to the
nearside. Not a great attempt at the tackle by James Hume. Hopefully not
carrying every problem. Armstrong. -- carrying a rib problem.
That was good control of the ball under difficult circumstances by
Methody. Thomas Gallagher has been very busy. Inst of tackling well.
Only the second try they have conceded in the cup this year.
Advantage to Inst. Rhys O'Donnell in a bit of trouble. The referee has
played advantage. Paddy Finnegan, twin brother of full-back Joe. Here
is Michael Lowry. My word, he is quick. He has got it away to
Davidson. He is not slow either. Inst recovered well. Lowry recovered
well as well. He gets the ball, show and go outside. Commits a defender.
A great tackle from Methody to cover. Inst are going to create
problems all day long. He reminds me of Matthew Morgan, who plays for
Ospreys. Blistering pace. Good work again by Methody. That was a very
good kick. Kept infield. It was not put down. That is interesting. I'm
not sure why Inst did that. They would have had a 22 drop out if they
had put that down. This could be very interesting. A Methody score
could stand the odds makers on their heads, and this final. Very much so.
He knows there is a defender coming. His first option is to kick it macro
it away. -- kick. Methody get in nice and low. Technically superb.
Keep their shape well. Inst have to be on their mettle. Well taken. An
offence by Methodist College at the line-out. Somebody coming in in
front of the ball. There was a knock site. Joining the line-out before it
moved off its platform. You must keep back ten metres from the
line-up until the referee jobs 's hands saying the line-out is over.
-- drops his hands. That has gone into touch. Pressure off Inst. What
has been nice today, all the chat is of Ruan Pienaar leaving Ulster. But
there are two good scrum-halves here today. The future looks good. Lowry
has burst through. This is good support play. Rhys O'Donnell yet
again. They have knocked it forward. They have given away a penalty. Not
releasing in the tackle when the try line was within sight. A quick
release there and it might have been game over. Yes, here is Lowry once
again. Ball in one hand, surveying the options. Keep an eye macro on
number 13 for Methody. He got over the ball so quickly, preventing Inst
from getting the ball away and winning his team a penalty,
potentially stopping a try scoring opportunity. Look at the strength of
the assistant referee's Flag. Very much favouring Methodist College.
Good take by Bingham. Trainor has the ball under his arm. Methody into
the Inst have. Paddy Finnegan has to get out of the way. Trainor still
going forward. Good work. Armstrong is a clever playmaker. Well gathered
by McIlroy. The ball was passed forward.
It's great to see both teams having a go. You have done this a lot
longer than I have. But in terms of backline play, I haven't seen the
ball used as expensively. Both sets of wingers have seen lots of ball. A
fantastic spectacle. A scrum to Inst. They have not really dominated
the scrum. Omar picks it up. Nicely done. That was a high tackle. That
may be a yellow card. That was a bit naughty. Chris Larmour had come in
off his wing. Oisin Quinn will have to have a think about that. He has
gone to his touch judge to get some advice. There is nobody to refer to,
no TMO. Paul Kerr hung out that arm. Very instinctive. I think he will be
lucky if he doesn't go to the bin. No malice, I'm sure. He is Methody's
top points scorer for this season, Paul Kerr. The hand is going to the
pocket. So alas, it is ten minutes in the bin. Seven minutes in the
bin. This is schools rugby. Because they only played 35 minutes each
have, it is seven minutes in the bin. He just got beaten by the step.
It is easy to throw an arm out. It is an instinctive gesture. Yes it is
wrong and yes, the referee has done the right thing. Inst with the
numerical advantage. Paul Kerr has been very important in trying to
shut down the Inst midfield. Perhaps some breathing space for them now.
You can see how strong the wind is. Michael Lowry didn't make much in
the way of ground. Just about midway between the Methody 22 at the ten
metre line. They are a man short and the Bataclan, Methody. Again the
wind causing problems. Surely the option is to throw it to number two
or three in the line-out with a strong wind. That was always
destined to drift because of the wind. It has given Methody the
scrum. My thoughts precisely. Absolutely. It gives them a chance
to soak in the opposition, to create more space wide. A very difficult to
execute. The first time Inst have got a squeeze on. Gallagher did well
for Methody. Methody will try to make ground on the narrow side. Good
burst by Josh Trainor. Gallagher was well tackled.
Good driving forward by Methody. Jordan with the wind behind him.
That was well taken by Inst. Calum Reid has not had a chance to
show his speed and strength. That went forward. It is of sight. The
ball was knocked on. The man who was in front of the ball touched the
ball. Inst making a lot of mistakes. Nicky Wells, I'm sure, is now may be
thinking of Methody can survive the next five minutes with a man short
and maybe do something, this game could be stored on its head.
Absolutely. You can see what Methody are trying to do. Send the extra few
men into the ruck. Inst want to see the ball going wide with their
advantage. It is about the ball going wide, not picking the right
line. Methody getting the ascendancy. Matty Loane has been
pretty inspirational. He has made some sensible calls. The shortened
line-out was one of the most sensible so far. Inst didn't matter
to do that. -- manage. There goes Gallagher. He is very strong. Slips
inside from the first tackle. Methody have got a lot of men out
wide. That was high. David Lyttle could find himself in the Ben. It's
starting to get a little bit attritional. -- in the bin. It may
be James Hume. He is gone. The number is a good up. The two main
centres off the pitch. He had no option but to send him to the
sin-bin. Methody's mein goal kicker is off the field. What a decision by
Matty Loane. It looks like the right decision. Instead of going for the
three points, they are going for the trite and the conversion. That is a
good kick to touch. The kick at goal would almost have been easier. Josh
Trainor has had a good afternoon. The Methody set pieces one of their
strengths. That is very good by Methodist College. What a good
counter drive by the holders. They have got to get themselves out of
here. If Methody score, well, you know the script. Jordan has got
Matty Loane standing outside him. Matty Loane goes to ground. Lays it
back. Here come Methody again. Josh Trainor. Tackled by McCann. An
overlap... It is going to be a try! The touch judge has his flag up.
Chris Larmour came within a whisker of getting a second and perhaps
conclusive try. But the flag was up and it is an Inst line-out. How
close was that? Michael Lowry just saved the day. If he had been
carrying the ball on his outside arm, he would have been in. It was
close from that angle. You can run into the corner flag and that is not
touch. It used to be if you hit the corner flag it was touch. But the
flag went up and the referee has to go with the touch judge. RNA eye
under fierce pressure. -- RBAI. Well done to Methody for coming back.
Methody did that well. The driven line-out. Trying to pull in Lowry.
There is more room out there. One slightly misplaced pass from Methody
that caused the full-back to bobble and take it on his chest. A slightly
slicker transfer and he would have been in. Michael Lowry has saved the
day for Inst. Another Inst player down. Lowry has got the scrum capped
off. Nicky Wells won't be too worried at this stage. They are
playing all the cards as we speak. He certainly won't be too worried if
Michael Lowry can't continue. This would be a huge blow for Inst. It
looks like his left knee is getting some attention. This is the main
playmaker for Inst. The other main playmaker, James Hume, is off. It
won't be too long before Methody's Naughty Boy, Paul Kerr, comes back
on again. Yes, the Nub to main centres. Lowry does well. He
sacrifices himself. Must immediately you can see him wince with pain.
There is a wee spot of blood on the knee. I don't think that is the
problem. I think he has jarred that need or twisted that knee. He
doesn't look happy. I am just wondering if Michael Lowry's third
of Cup final in a row is over. Charlie Cloke has a word. I'm
wondering if he will take over as skipper? It may well be Charlie
Cloke. You have to take your hat off to Thomas Gallagher and Matty Loane
and the Methodist College back row. They have grabbed this game by the
scruff of the neck. Leading from the front in terms of their ball
carrying. Their line network, their experience. Setting an example for
the other forwards. Looks like Pierce McLernon will come on for
Inst. Dermot Wallace is the man going off. McLernon started last
year's final. Was left out today. Lowry will have to make a decision.
It may even be lower down. Some were just above the ankle for Michael
Lowry. He is in an awful lot of pain. He can get up. He is hobbling
rather badly. I'm sure he won't want to go off completely. He may go off
the field to get some treatment. He will try to continue, Michael Lowry.
It will have to be 100%. The way Methody are going, if they see him
limping, he will be a defensive weakness for Inst. Surely he can't
continue looking like that? I think he knows that as well. He is
heartbroken. Inst will bring on another big man to counter the
Methody advantage at the line-out. Dermot Wallace. The Inst number
four. He is going off. We will have to wait and see. They have to make
up their minds. The referee has given him a chance
to get right, and get on with the game. That is a serious blow to
Inst's ambitions of a third successive Schools Cup win. Hanging
in the balance. Delusional captain, playmaker and inspiration, that is
Inst's biggest problem for the remaining 20 minutes of the game. --
inspirational captain. Sam Friars coming on. Paul Care coming back on
any second. Will he play outside half? Good catch and drive from the
side. A fair bit of pressure. McDonnell needs to find touch. He
has not. Methody growing in confidence. That is not done. How
unfortunate for Lowry. Great tackle by Friars
just coming off the bench. Interesting to see he will start at
the outside half position. I think it will be Lyttle. Sam Fryers in the
centre. Wallace has left the field, with McLaren coming on. He goes
O'Donnell. Taken on by Fryers, straight into action. Penalty
against Methody, they cannot afford to get careless, let Inst back in
the game. It is a 23 man game. Sam Fryers of the bench, first bits of
play fears has had to do, absolutely textbook, in defence, carrying the
ball. Joe Finnegan kick into touch. Good kick to touch, it was. James
Hume, well over six feet, around six two, 15 stone. Inst back in the
Methody half, as we come to the halfway stage of the second half.
Paul Care returning to the field after the sin bin. Not sure who that
was meant to go to. The Inst line-out has been all over the
place. A bit fractured. A couple of strong decisions, just to slow
things down. Trying to run some time off the clock so they can get Hume
back. Good refereeing. Bringing them together. Shake hands, behave
yourselves. The referee looking around to see
whether James Hume is due to come back on. Maybe a minute, maybe two.
Paul Care back on, Methody back to their full contingent. Both are full
a minute of each other. Hardly any time to gain a great advantage. Reid
acquired by his standards. Taken by Kelly, over halfway. Look at the
width Methody have. And extra men. Good tackle by Fryers.
Nothing much in the open side of the field. Here comes Jordan again. They
need somebody to go into scrum-half. Keeping it tight, little pods of
four, five forwards. Accidental offside. The man with the ball
running into a player of his own side in front of him. Therefore
deeming to gain an advantage. Tell-tale signs, two or three guys
stretching out limbs. It is a big pitch. Also slightly heavy, given
conditions previously. There is the great tackle by Sam Fryers. Care is
trying to beat him on the outside. James Hume just warming up of a
tracksuit top on. Well presented, to O'Donnell.
McLaren. He comes for David Wallace. Good switch. Where will that go?
Well collected by Methodist College. Again, tackling letting them down.
The hard running Thomas Gallagher, like the rest of the family, can do
boxing. Not called to use that skill today. Well taken by Finnegan.
Reid nearly getting away. That was not the smartest kid in the world,
that one, yes it was. Just running out of ideas. Here is James Hume
coming back on making up the numbers. O'Donnell guilty of kicking
one or two way. Doherty has played well, full of pace. Nice option,
well executed. He would prefer the points, to stay and play. Just back
in the ascendancy, a territorial manner. Coming up to the midway
point of the second half. Again they go along. This time it worked. Omar,
Callum Reid, brought down by the ankle tap. Dad has gone straight
into touch. Inst giving away possession. This will give Methody
lots of confidence. If Michael Lowry got the ball, the first instinct
would be to look up. That pass that he and Hume used effectively. The
little steps by the ten, Shayne King that one. A bit of cramp, for
McIlroy, nothing too serious. Josh Trainer injuring himself, played
very well. Mickey Wells will be reasonably
happy. He would like your site to finish it off, if they can. This is
a shot behind him of Alex Cairns, got knocked out in the semifinal,
unavailable for this one. A bit like the match last year, for Inst,
Belfast College, defending manfully for the second half. So far Methody
have-nots, but cannot find the key. Inst making another replacement.
Josh Trainer, fantastic line-out throwing all afternoon. Sensible
catch at the front. Methody have that Thaksin. Thomas Gallagher
joining them. Up to the 22, over the 22. Trying to catch Inst offside.
Methody building up a considerable head of steam. Still going, making
contact with the man in front. Nothing illegal by that. Great work
by the Methody forwards. They have Inst stretched. They could
be in again. Well taken by Nathan McCullum
Here comes Gallagher, fellow back row forward. They have been
terrific. Gibbons, the big second row. Still there for Methody. Can
they get over the posts? Only a converted try between them.
Remember, they have long since stopped having extra time replays,
if it finishes level, then the cup is shared. Inst will certainly not
one that, they have not had a three in a row sequence for over 70 years.
Still therefore Methody. Inst give away the penalty. Jordan did that
well, buying the extra half second. Just giving away the penalty. Look
at the quality of the transfer of the pass. Off the left-hand.
Methody, to a man, playing at the epitome of a team. Maybe not the big
names, like Inst side, but playing for each other, giving everything.
Paul Kerr back on again. This will make it a whole different ball game.
No mistake from close range from Paul Kerr, all of a sudden looking a
lot rosier for Methodist College. After 22 minutes, they found
themselves 12-0 behind. More than clawing their way back. Inst looking
shell-shocked. Walking back to the kick-off. Losing their captain
Michael Lowry and they need someone else to step up and compete,
grabbing this by the scruff of the neck. As things stand, it is Methody
on the front foot. A bit too long. There goes McIlroy. Billy Gribben
coming on from the bench. Gathered by Inst.
And again, the rambling of the Lucent prop, Callum Reid well held.
A good gathered by Inst. David McCann, one of the first try
scorers. Inst need something here. Better stuff from Inst. Here is
Hume. Looks like a high tackle. Referee is happy enough.
Inst need to get a point of some kind.
Good tackle by Josh Trainer. Trying to prevent that coming back. Set up
by Paddy Finnegan. Inst getting closer. Callum Black becoming more
prominent. Inst's turn to get it wide. No advantage, Inst get the
putting on the scrum. Going back to type, the ball coming wide. Paul
Kerr, probably having the advantage on Hume, marshalling him brilliantly
midfield. Such a large part of the Inst offence, but Methody of
shutting down. Forcing him into unforced errors. Unusual for him.
Difficult part of this match. Quite a few guys going down, cramping.
They know the emotional side of it. A lot of build-up to this. The pitch
is heavy. It has been a high-quality game. The ball has been played for
an awful long time. Referee has had a tremendous game, letting the game
go. Traditional schoolboy rugby at its best. He has contributed in a
major way to this game. Refereeing it in the spirit of the game, with
sympathy. And the initial nog foreword by
RBAI, the holders. Just about 11 minutes and a bit to go. -- the
initial knock forward. More replacements coming on.
Gallagher tries to get away on the narrow side. He said the ball up
nicely for Methody to clear. They do clear but only by a matter of a few
metres. Gallagher has been the fulcrum of this Methody side.
Perhaps not the right option, going against the grain. Inst closing down
well. Good pressure from his opposite number. Yasser Omar. Just
to put Jordan under pressure with his box-kick. Inst still ahead 54
pints. -- four points. Anger Adair has come on for Inst. -- Angus. Son
of Andy. Former Ulster hooker. They have got the ball well protected out
of the back. O'Donnell with an -- Ridgers dummy. Well tackled by
Methody. Inst get the penalty. What do you do hear? You are less than a
try ahead. You have the chance of three points to go more than a try
had. Decision time. Given the conditions a kick at goal is not
straightforward. Yes it would put them back in the ascendancy. But
perhaps the scrum and running sometime off the clock if the right
call. -- some time. Given the increased superiority of Inst in the
scrum, it took them a while to exert that extra weight difference. There
is Charlie Cloke. He was very doubtful for this. He did
wonderfully well to get through an hour of this final. Straightaway we
see Inst sacrifice they left wing. He is standing just behind his
outside-half. Already they have a numerical advantage in terms of
what's available in the open play. Inst have got everybody behind the
scrum. That leads me to think they might be trying something clever.
That didn't look straight. Hume, the scorer of the conclusive try against
Campbell College a year ago. Taken on by McCann. Methody told to leave
the ball. The referee is playing advantage to Inst. Omar. Calum
Green... He had a go himself. -- Kalann read.
Methody hands in that legally. O'Donnell sets it up. Here come Inst
again. Hume trying to use his strength. Not really working. Again
Inst battling the Methody line. And again Methody hanging in there.
They're so close. Yasser Omar... Kalann read is standing by. Is this
his day? David Lyttle got it wide. Hume... A
battering ram. Silly pressure coming from the holders. Joe Finnegan...
Good covering tackle by the Methody skipper, Saulters. Now it is Callum
Reid. There were men outside. Yasser Omar... He managed to just keep his
composure and keep possession of the ball. Inst have said it up. They are
using the replacements. O'Donnell looking for a runner in the
openside. Calum Reid goes to ground. Good work on the ground by Josh
Trainor for Methody. Hume needed to give the ball. Just checked a little
bit. The Methody defence were up to him. Here they go again. McCann
manages to set it up. We have had six or seven minutes of solid Inst
pressure. They have gone through phase after phase after phase.
Methody have kept them out. Calum Green has knocked it forward. Five
minutes remaining of normal playing time. -- Callum Burton read.
Methodist College have put in an amazing shift. Yes, they have. Joe
Finnegan down. Rab is not a lot of advantage coming for Inst. I know
the referee had given the penalty underneath the posts. -- perhaps not
a lot of advantage. They would perhaps have wished to have gone
back and had the shot at three. New can't question this Methody defence.
It has been absolutely brilliant. The backroads superb. Young Jordan
at scrum-half. -- the back row superb. As Finnegan recovered from
his boat of cramp? There is no sign of Inst bringing anybody else on at
the moment. The rain has come in with a vengeance. We have got rain
and wind. Add a even noticing it? I don't think so. They are in the
zone. There is a long way for Methody to go. They are camped
inside their own five metre line. They haven't opened up this Inst
back line at any stage. They scored their try from phase play yes, but
off the set piece they haven't had a courting effect. -- courting. It
would be a Methody scrum. Adair, wearing number 21, on the far side
for Methody. In the front row, Gribben, reserve hooker a year ago.
Now reserve prop and on the side. Good pick up by Gallagher. Good run.
Taken down by David Lyttle. Methody need to get out of here. That was
the loosehead prop, Darren Morelli. He was the captain, Matty Loane. He
has played so well. Gallagher again. Possibly Methody's best player.
Taken on by Cameron Kelly. The Methody back row as a unit have been
pretty effective. Ben Crangle, only a youngster. 17 stone, the heaviest
man on the park. We'll Methody be tempted to kick? Maybe not. Dragged
over the line. That will be a five metre scrum. That was a very good
piece of tackling by McCann. Pierce McLernon, maybe Jim, the
replacement. Didn't he do well? He closed him down so well. You're
absolutely right. He is a very big unit. He kept his disappointment
under wraps at having played last year and not starting this year. He
was overlooked for Dermot Wallace, a replacement the previous year.
Pierce McLernon has come on and made presence felt. This is Inst's chance
to put this game to bed. One would expect maybe Omar and O'Donnell...
Their link play between eight and nine has been a joy to watch.
Perhaps a strike move involving Hume. Omar knocked it forward. Can
you believe that? He tried to be too clever. He tried to pick it up
one-handed. In this weather and in these conditions, you have got two
hands, young man. Stick it up your jumper, go Route one. Paddy Finnegan
was ready to pick it up. The set piece had been called. It was just
execution, Jim. Another man down with some cramp. It is Zach
Davidson, the Methody right wing three quarters. Always nice to see
an Inst man sorting out a Methody man! A bit of cross pollination from
the physio team. I can put my hand on my heart and say some of my best
friends are collegian 's! -- collegians! Inst making a
replacement. Ethan Field has come on and one of the try scorers as left
the field, David McCann. McCann has had a fine game. He played very well
in the semifinal. He followed it this afternoon. He can be well happy
with his afternoon's work. Lewis Lowry on for Methody. Wearing number
22. Lys Gomis ollie same place. This
time it is a Methody scrum. -- the scrum is in the same place. Lewis
Miller, in fact, has come on for a Methodist College, I beg your
pardon. Good tackling thereby Inst. And by Ethan Field. Methody Stoke,
as they have been for the last six or seven minutes, inside their own
22. They don't want to kick the ball because possession will be given
away. How do they get themselves out of your? I don't think a kick would
be a bad option. Given how unpredictable the conditions are.
Perhaps just rely on the bounce of the ball. They try to run it. Josh
Trainor has had a horrific game in the middle of the Methody front row.
Cramp affecting a lot of young men here this afternoon. Tough
conditions. Methody still struggling. Inst try to get the ball
away. Lovely flat pass by Armstrong. Callum Reid just about hangs onto
the Methody ball-carrier. Jordan was in there quickly. Trainor again, a
bolt of energy. Methody still inside their 22. That was John Bingham who
made some ground. Forward by Methody. Inst will get the putting
to the scrum. Six and a half minutes remaining. It will be difficult,
given the fact that Inst have got the ball now. It is a litany of
cramp on the pitch. Perhaps that decision from Inst that we talked
about in the Methody half, do they go for the post or kick the corner,
they chose to go for the latter and they have been ensconced down here
for the last 67 minutes. Methody unable to break them down from set
piece or phase play. Looks like Yasser Omar who is down injured.
Adam Fryers gives him a pat. The James Hume is having a word with his
number eight. He is a huge man. He is saying to him, get the ball at
the back of the scrum, pick it up and don't let go. Thomas Gallagher
has the cramp for a Methody. Another man still down with cramp. It has
been a very odd last ten minutes. At least half a dozen players going
down with cramp. It has been a seesaw location, the whole game. It
has ebbed and flowed brilliantly. Inst in the ascendancy for long
periods. This is what we see from the Methody back line, their ability
to move the ball under pressure. Inst came back really well after
looting their captain with ten or 15 minutes remaining. They have just
played the territory game. The game has lost some shape with the
injuries we have had. Perhaps that has played into Inst's hands.
Methody with just over a minute remaining. They have it all to do.
They have two turn it over and go 80 metres. Methody have won three cup
finals in a row back on the late 80s. I think it was 1989, 1990 and
19 91. Rhys O'Donnell is down injured. Conditions are pretty
horrible out there. The rain is coming streaming down.
Inst minutes away from their 32nd. One minute and a half to go, I can't
get the sums right. Before they think they can get their hands on
the cup at right for the 32nd time. They contested the very first final,
way back in 1876. With a loss to Armagh Royal. Rhys O'Donnell leaving
the field. On comes Robben They have made it three in a row for
the first time since the 1940s. Niall Armstrong. Inst still taking
it on. Final minute of this game. 70 minutes, silly me, thinking it was
80. Here come the boys of RBAI. 20 seconds to go. All
Inst have to do is hang on to the football. Armstrong. Armstrong is
slotted into scrum-half, where he played for Ulster schools quite
easily. They need someone to run. It is up, into touch. Inst, for the
first time in 70 years have won three successive Ulster Schools Cup
finals. The weather had a lot to say in this game. They gave the holders
and three-time winner is such a tough game, Methody. The strength of
the Inst pack, and the determination not to release this cup came through
in the end. Full marks to Methody and likewise RBAI, a final affected
by pretty dreadful conditions. In terms of commitment, strength and
skills, a pretty decent cup final. Let's hope they'll come through this
safely, MEC them playing again in the not too distant future at
whatever level. There you go, there it is. The 2017 Schools Cup final,
and for the third year in a row it will go to RBAI.
Willie Anderson and Ian Humphreys with me in the studio watching that.
Great second half, spectacular effort from both sides. Only a few
points scored. In such terrible conditions. Both sides wanted to
keep playing. Not many chances, but huge physicality. Many boys going
down with cramp. How much effort they put in. It was a good
old-fashioned dogfight out there. It really caught the imagination, the
whole way through the second half. Could have gone either way. Methody
with a few chances. Inst got back in the groove again. The last ten
minutes, probably the better side. Inst trying to celebrate, but they
are too tired. All out on their feet. The likes of James Hume, it is
the third one for many of them, but the last game they will play with
their mates. A lot of them enjoying the moment, savouring, and having a
good night tonight. Let's hear from the winning captain, Michael Lowry.
The winning captain, three times in a row, congratulations. Thank you.
What was it like to watch the last 20 minutes from the subs bench?
Really difficult, you want to be on the pitch. The boys really stuck at
it, I'm so proud of them. They showed real effort and grit. People
coming off the bench. Half of the bench could have been starting
today. Really putting in a last shift. We are overwhelmed. Mixed
emotions sitting on the bench. Shivering away. Incredible. It is a
pleasure and a privilege to lead such a great bunch of boys. Three in
a row, the first time Inst have done it since the 1930s. Incredible
feeling permit before the game we did not think about it. We had a
final game against Methody, our rivals from across the road. You
think about a third win, look back on it a couple years from now. Great
achievement. How is your knee? Hopefully get some ice on it, and
rest up. Once I got hit, my whole leg seized up, getting cramp
everywhere. Disappointing not to finish the 20 minutes. One of the
players on the bench, getting out there for the last 20 minutes, then
me popping along on one leg. I will let you collect the cup,
congratulations. Looks like he's fit enough to go and live that are
rather heavy trophy. Ian Humphreys, he has it all, young Michael Lowry.
Very good again today. You saw how Inst lost their shape when he went.
He made lots of clean break. Taking out of hand and distribution was
excellent. As we see some of the brilliant play, you know the guy
very well from your U19 work with Ulster. He's just a warrior, really
good. Save a try in the first half. Made a crucial tackle in the second
half, injuring himself. Such a fantastic player to coach. One of
those days, strange for a schoolboy to have so much experience. He
showed that today. You can see compare to the last couple of years,
looks so comfortable. He knew what was going on from bringing players
around him into the game. Comfortable on the pitch, let's see
how the years lifting the trophy. They are on their way up the steps.
COMMENTATOR: Mrs Dorothy Kingston, the wife of giving Kingston, of the
sponsors RBAI Bank has been handing out the medals to the losers. Now
the moment that every schoolboy rugby player really dreams about.
Michael Lowry, coming up two years in a row, getting the medals,
talking us through his team. Such an inspirational player for Inst, the
young outside half, doing it three years in a row. The trophy will be
presented by Mrs Maura McGivern. We will get everybody's names, getting
the medals. Cramp was the order of the day, some boys limping. Just
about coming through in the final. Neil Salters did not play two years
ago. David Wallace on the bench a couple of years ago. All the squad
coming up and getting medals. 23 medals presented. The oldest rugby
competition in Irish rugby. It will be presented to the winning captain
of RBAI, Michael Lowry. Used to be called the London United Hospitals
Cup. This appointment on the faces of the Methodist College boys. Had
not been in the final for three years. Spike this Inst victory, they
are still the most successful side in the history of this competition.
63rd final. On Inst's 57 final, they have won its 32 times. Absolutely
brilliant from both sides. Really good day. Also, even though we are
rivals, great deal of respect from both sides. We will go down to our
man on the right-hand side of the war memorial site. Waiting for the
wonderful treaty to be lifted, handed over to Michael Lowry. Seems
to be enjoying himself up there with the microphone. Since he did not
play a full game entitled to have a few words. In microphone is handed
back. The trophy is presented. Moira McKibben hands over the Ulster
Schools Cup to the captain of RBAI, Michael Lowry. For the third year in
a row, Inst are the Ulster Schools Cup champions. Not a bad day. Great
when that she'll goes up. Special experience, unfortunately I was on
the pitch with Methodist college twice. Those boys deserved. Second
half, Methodist College came back into it. Made a competition of it.
Inst deserve it. You know these boys at this level, how much credit to
both sets of players take? Fantastic. Really fantastic that it
was a tremendous game. They need to score just before half-time, that
was crucial, gave them relief in the second half. In fairness to them,
they came out and use the wind, the advantage with the weather very
well. Inst overall, particularly with Lowry, and standing. Thank you
Willie Anderson, and Ian Humphreys. The state of youth rugby is very
healthy. Congratulations to RBAI, it is their date, they have written
their piece of history in this great competition, the Ulster Schools Cup.
From all of us here, it is goodbye. In a breathtaking new series,
wildlife cameraman Colin Stafford-Johnson explores
Ireland's wild Atlantic Way. I've always wanted to travel the
length of Ireland's Atlantic coast, seeking out its secret places
and wild creatures. This must be the greatest gathering
of mammals in Ireland. They could be anywhere in the whole
ocean but they choose to be here. I love the sounds
of their breathing. Makes you see the country in
a whole new light.
The St Patrick's Day Schools' finals coverage begins with Gaelic's MacRory Cup final from the Athletic Grounds in Armagh, where seasoned campaigners St Colman's of Newry will be taking on the relative newcomers in St Mary's Magherafelt. Mark Sidebottom presents the action with Thomas Niblock on commentary.
Mid-afternoon codes switch to rugby from the Kingspan Stadium for the Schools Cup final where it's an all-Belfast affair, as Methodist College take on RBAI in the showpiece decider. Gavin Andrews presents match coverage, with commentary from Jim Neilly and pitch-side updates from Cain Murtagh.