FOLLOWING on from the decision earlier in the month to abandon plans to stage the Danske Bank MacRory Cup final, the presentation of the Cup took place at the weekend.
The captains from St Patrick’s Maghera (Ethan Doherty) and St Colman’s Newry (Sean O’Hare) jointly accepted the trophy from Oonagh Murtagh on behalf of the competition sponsors Danske Bank.
This is not the first time the title has been shared.
In the early years of Ulster schools’ football the competition was run on a league basis and in 1925 St Patrick’s Armagh, St Macartan’s Monaghan and St Malachy’s Belfast finished on equal points and were declared joint winners.
More recently, in 2001 Omagh CBS and St Michael’s Enniskillen drew 2-8 to 1-11 in Casement Park. However on the morning of the replay, travel restrictions around the spread of Foot and Mouth forced its cancellation.
Enniskillen were nominated to represent Ulster in the Hogan Cup which went ahead but, like this year, a new date for the MacRory final replay could not be found and the schools were declare joint-winners.
In making the presentation, Oonagh Murtagh, Danske Bank commented:
“We’re delighted to be able to present the two winners of the MacRory cup with the trophy. This is certainly a year we’ll never forget, but it’s fantastic to finally be able to recognise the fantastic skill and huge achievement from both teams.
“It wouldn’t be possible of course without the dedication of the players’ families, parents, schools, coaches, clubs and of course, the committee of the Ulster Schools’ GAA – thank you to everyone who has had a part to play throughout the year. We look forward to this year’s activities.”
Ulster Schools GAA Chairman Jimmy Smyth added:
“Our congratulations to both schools on having reached the 2019/20 Danske Bank MacRory Cup Final, and while we share their disappointment at the final not taking place, this is still a major achievement and a huge accolade for the two schools and all the players involved.
“We are already looking forward to, and planning for, the resumption of Gaelic games in our schools in January.”