Casement Cup final (u-19 B hurling)
Gaelcholáiste Dhoire v Aquinas
Monday, The Dub, 6pm
By Michael McMullan
IT’S another landmark day for Gaelcholáiste Dhoire on Monday when take the field for the Casement Cup final against Aquinas.
In the summer of 2015, their first intake of 14 Year 8 pupils, boys and girls, were photographed on the steps of the iconic Dungiven castle.
They wouldn’t have been able to field a full GAA team, but have now turned full circle with over 300 coming through the gate for the school’s eighth year.
What began in the castle has grown with the opening last year of a new building on the site that houses 10 classrooms as well as suites for music, art and technology.
In a sporting sense, the early years saw them form an alliance with nearby St Patrick’s, Dungiven and St Mary’s, Limavady to form Coláistí Ghleann na Ró with amalgamation teams to allow players exposure to Gaelic Games.
This year, their senior hurlers have made more progress.
After a 7-19 to 1-9 win over Ballyshannon, they were beaten (3-8 to 1-12) by St Mary’s Magherafelt.
Gaelcholáiste Dhoire were then 5-19 to 1-11 quarter-final winners over St Malachy’s Belfast to set up a semi-final rematch with St Mary’s, with Ger Ó Diolún hitting 2-12 from play.
This time, it was the Gaelcholáiste who prevailed (3-13 to 3-3) to set up Monday’s place in the decider.
Mikey Ó Dughaill, a Derry u20 hurler, and centre back Finbarr Ó Mhuirí are also key players for Cian Waldron and Conor McAllister’s side.
In defence, Cathal Ó Mianáin has been a vital player on tbeir way to the final.
There is also a youthful input to the Gaelcholáiste Dhoire side in the form of
Emmet Óg Mac Íomhair, Jude Ó Conaire, Peadar Pio Ó Duibhne and Daire Ó Lochlainn.
The backdrop to the game was last year’s Casement Shield semi-final between the teams with Gaelcholáiste Dhoire coming through by point last year, 4-7 to 2-12.
Another tight battle is expected on Monday night.