Council Chair hosts reception for Dean Maguirc College Markey Cup Champions

5th April 2023

Dean Maguirc College Markey Cup Champions

Recently the Chair of Fermanagh and Omagh District Council, Councillor Barry McElduff, hosted a reception for Dean Maguirc College in recognition of winning the Markey Cup for the first time in the School’s history.  The following is a copy of the speech which was delivered by the Chair at the reception:

As Chair of Fermanagh and Omagh District Council, I am delighted to welcome you all to The Grange, Omagh for this reception in honour of Dean Maguirc College’s Danske Bank Under 19 Markey Cup winners.

Your Markey Cup journey began against local rivals St Ciaran’s College, Ballygawley and a 2-18 to 3-8 win meant you progressed to the knockout stages.

First up was St Columba’s, Stranorlar in the quarter finals.  By half time you were 8 points behind, however, you transformed in the second half with high energy and high intensity going man to man with strong tackling.  Such was you dominance and determination, you restricted St Columba’s to one point in over 30 minutes.

Mickey Joe McGlinchey, who I understand had just returned from rehab for a knee injury, came off the bench and made an immediate impact.  There was a two point difference and just 20 seconds to go and you latched onto a pass and netted the all important goal to win and progress to the semi-finals.

Your opponents in the semi-final were Virginia College, Cavan who had previously won the Markey Cup and were finalists in 2022.

The team started brightly with points from Davagh Loughran and Sean Og Teague to take the lead 1-2 to 0-0. However, Virginia College launched an attack and after 14 minutes they had taken the lead,  Once again, your determination came to the fore and by 24 minutes the score was all square.

The lead went back to Virginia College by half time as they were three points ahead.  The team talk at half time gave you inspiration and once again you emerged in the second half a changed side with an early score from Ronan Fox.

Virginia College showed why they were finalists two years in succession as they once again dominated the match.  You stepped it up again and matched their determination and emerged the eventual winners earning a well deserved place in the final.

All roads led to Rosslea on 08 February 2023 for the final against Coláiste Cholmcille from Ballyshannon.  Your goalkeeper, Killian Kerr, was called into action in the opening minutes and made an excellent save.  This helped to settle the nerves and Kevin Cuddy and Sean Og Teague went on to open the scoring.

The score was level after 11 minutes, however, you fought back and took the lead 0-5 to 0-2.  Coláiste Cholmcille reduced the gap again, however, James McCallan powered forward and he found the net leaving the score 1-5 to 0-4 at half time.

Once again the half time team talk seemed to inspire you as you came out strongly with a goal from Aidan Woods and a point from Davagh Loughran.

Victory seemed to be within your grasp, however, Ballyshannon had not given up and fought back once again.  You reasserted yourselves and a vital point from Mickey Joe McGlinchey followed by a point from Kevin Cuddy and a goal from Callum Stewart was enough to seal the victory.

The 08 February 2023 will be forever etched in the memories of anyone involved in Dean Maguirc College as not only did you win the Markey Cup but you made history as this is the first time the school has won it.

Being part of a sports team requires commitment to attend training and a good level of fitness, however, it also teaches you important life skills including cooperation to work together, listening to each other and your coaches and determination to pursue your dreams.

Each of you have demonstrated these qualities throughout your progress in the Markey Cup.

On behalf of Fermanagh and Omagh District Council, and on my own behalf, I would like to commend coach, Gavan McElroy and the rest of the coaching staff for your commitment to the team and for giving the students the skills and opportunity to compete in competitions and achieve success.

I would also like to commend each and every player in the team on your achievement.  You can be proud of the part you have played in making history.  You have done yourselves, you family and friends, your School, your respective Clubs and the District proud.

I would like to wish you every success for the future in both your academic and sporting endeavours.

Thank you.