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Primary School Footballers Make History

St Brigid’s Primary School Mayogall have won the Ulster Allianz Cumann na mBunscol Indoor 5-aside Championship!

The annual competition held this year in the Meadowbank Sports Arena in Magherafelt on Wednesday 9th April welcomed the winning primary school teams from the Ulster Counties. Having won the Derry Championship earlier in March for the second year in a row, the Lavey boys travelled the short distance to Magherafelt to see if they could go one further and take home the prestigious Ulster title.

The young St Brigid’s team consisted of Shea M O’Neill, Patrick Mc Gurk, Matthew Downey, Callum Downey, Jack Scullion, Jamie Duggan, Rory Mc Gill and Conlan O’Kane.

St Brigids were placed in a tough group section where they faced the Donegal champions, Glenties and Burren from County Down. First up were Glenties; St Brigids looked sharp and the boys came away with an impressive victory. In the next game the Lavey side faced Burren. They were defeated by a narrow margin, but with the top two teams from each group qualifying for the semi-final, Lavey continued to qualify and hope was not lost.

In the semi-final St Brigids faced the highly fancied Armagh champions- Lurgan. A strong start and the ability to take scores ensured the boys ran out eight point winners on a score line of 1-10 to 1-02.

The final pitted Lavey against Burren, the County Down Champions, for the second time that day. The boys from St Brigids saved their best performance for the last!

With both sides beginning nervously, it was Burren who got off to a brighter start and knocked up an early two point lead. Up stepped Patrick Mc Gurk; the nifty Gulladuff man scored a fantastic goal past the Lurgan keeper to put the boys from St Brigids into the lead. From this moment there was no turning back! Shea M O’Neill and Patrick McGurk stamped their authority in defence while the two Downeys-, Matthew and Callum, controlled the midfield area. Jack Scullion was in top form up front, finishing the match with an impressive personal tally of 3-2. Finally, the referee’s whistle sounded and St. Brigids were crowned Ulster Champions on a score line of Lavey 4-7 Burren 3-2.

St Brigid’s teacher and coach, Mr McCloy was understandably thrilled with the end result; ‘Days like these make teaching and coaching the best job in the world’, he said. ‘I am absolutely delighted for this group of young men.’

Mr McCloy’s side narrowly lost out to the Tyrone champions at this stage of the competition last year and this is in fact, the first year that a Derry side have won the title. ‘To come back and win this competition makes it even more pleasing’ said McCloy. ‘It is the first time that the competition has been held in Derry, and also the first time that Derry have been winners- which is a nice bit of history for the boys.’

Erins’ Own Lavey GAC are indebted to the ongoing work and time Mr McCloy puts into coaching and managing our primary school’s gaelic football, hurling and camogie teams. His efforts are no doubt paying dividends for both the school and the club teams. Mc McCloy, however kept all his praise for the young Lavey boys;

“Considering the size of our school compared to many other schools makes this achievement truly amazing. Well done to a very talented group of children – a fitting reward for their dedication and more importantly how they play the game. Congratulations boys!!”

Well done to the team and to Mr. McCloy.

Scorers in the final were Jack Scullion (3-2), Patrick McGurk (1-0), Mathew Downey (0-2), Calum Downey (0-3)

Joint captains, Calum and Matthew Downey receive the cup from an Ulster Council Representative.

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