By Niall Gartland
OMAGH CBS star Conor Owens says their one-sided semi-final victory over reigning All-Ireland champions Naas CBS instilled the team with belief that they could do likewise in the final.
That’s exactly how it transpired as they dismantled Summerhill College last Friday on an eye-watering scoreline of 6-16 to 3-8, the 17 points between the teams at the final whistle a record margin of victory
in the history of Hogan Cup deciders.
Owens more than played his part in their success, kicking four points from play and knocking over a free on a day when the entire team clicked into gear against their shell-shocked opponents.
It was a top class display by any metric and Owens, who has become the first Beragh man to pocket a Hogan Cup medal, says they were brimming with confidence heading into the game.
“I think the way we played in the semi-final gave us that confidence to go out and attack a team, that we’d enough quality and pace to blitz a team.
“We targeted a big start and that’s what we got, thank God.
“We were well ahead at half time but we knew it was important not to take the foot off the pedal and we came out strong in the second half as well.
“That took the sting out of the game, they got a few goals at the end but that happens sometimes.”
It was a historic day for the school as they came out on top of the Hogan Cup competition for only the second-time, following in the footsteps of the class of 2007.
Owens says they have one little thing over that team.
“Our manager Diarmaid McNulty was on the last CBS team to win the Hogan.
“They were beaten in one of the group stage matches and we weren’t so I think the incentive was to be known as the invincibles in the school, so it’s an unbelievable feeling to achieve it.
“The scenes at the end of the game were phenomenal and as Mr [Ciaran] McBride said to us, it leaves the
jersey in a special place going forward.”
Tyrone football is riding the crest of a wave at underage level at the moment.
The county has produced the reigning All-Ireland U20 champions, Ulster Minor champions, and at schools level the winners of the All-Ireland ‘A’ and ‘B’ competitions,
as well as the provincial ‘C’ competition. Owens says it’s a testament to the high level of coaching in the county.
“It’s a credit to all the coaching that goes on, not only in the school but across the clubs and county. It’s a credit to all who have helped us, we owe a lot in particular to the clubs who have coached us from a young age.”