St. Teresa’s PS historic Tyrone winning side now challenge for Ulster Cumann na mBunscoil honours
St. Teresa’s Primary School made history last month when winning the Tyrone GAA Cumann na mBunscoil Football competition for the very first time.
An impressive list of 74 teams started out in the challenge for top honours in the competition but the Loughmacrory school emerged as brilliant winners in the end after a long tough series of games.
St. Teresa’s PS Teacher, Mark McCullagh, who co-manages the team with Michael Gallagher, was delighted with the outcome of that event which undoubtedly augurs very well for the future of the sport in the school and indeed for the Football Club itself.
“For the school it is a massive achievement. To be playing teams like those we faced throughout the Tyrone competition is a great challenge and really is where we want to be competing. To have come away with the win was very satisfying. The club and the school have a very close relationship and it is great to sample a bit of success to mark all the hard work that is going on behind the scenes.”
St. Teresa’s really did have to dig deep at the Tyrone event, having firstly won the heat, beating Trillick in the final by 4-3. Just how close that contest was is emphasised by the fact that Loughmacrory only took the lead for the first time with 13 seconds remaining on the clock in that game. That win was enough to see the team into the County Cumann na mBunscoil Finals day.
The finals comprised the six winning teams from the heats with Loughmacrory, Carrickmore, Cabragh (Kileeshil), Holy Family, Omagh, Donaghmore and Dungannon all making it into the finals day at MUSA, Cookstown, to decide the outright winners from the O’Neill County.
St. Teresa’s were certainly facing an uphill challenge on the book and of course were the smallest school there in terms of pupil numbers. There were 2 sections of 3 teams in the finals, where a round robin system was used. Loughmacrory, Holy Family PS and Donaghmore were in section B and the other 3 sides battled it out in section A. After the round robin games, Loughmacrory topped Group B with Donaghmore finishing in second. Carrickmore topped Group A with Cabragh in second.
The semi finals thus saw Loughmacrory take on Cabragh PS in the semi final while Donaghmore surprised many with an eyecatching win over Carrickmore in the other semi final.
The final against Donaghmore was the second meeting of the day between the sides and proved to be a terrific low scoring yet enthralling contest, with Loughmacrory claiming the title for the first time ever by 0-2 to 0-1. The earlier meeting between the teams had finished 2-4 to 0-7 in Loughmacrory’s favour.
“The feel good atmosphere that this brings to our school and community as a whole is priceless. It’s what the GAA is all about. The result is testament to the support of our principal and the entire staff who do whatever they can to help. Then we’ve the support of the parents who are always there with support.”
“Finally, the kids – who are listening to their coaches and applying themselves which is a very valuable life skill that we are promoting from a very early age. Only 10 lads could be brought today; but we all recognise the efforts of every lad who comes out to train every week to keep pushing the thing on. It’s very much a collective effort.”
And so next up is the hugely exciting challenge of the Ulster GAA Cumann na mBunscoil competition in Magherafelt on Wednesday 6th April. This is a remarkable journey for the St. Teresa’s School and certainly ranks as one of the finest achievements to date.
The young team can certainly hold their heads high and we all wish them very well in the very exciting provincial test which awaits!