A magical day for Abbey Vocational School

By Niall Gartland

ABBEY Vocational forward Conor Meehan was thrilled to bits after they created history for the school in Sunday’s MacLarnon Cup victory against Our Lady and St Patrick’s Knock.

The pre-match favourites justified their billing with a thoroughly deserved 2-10 to 0-8 victory at the BOX-IT Athletic Grounds in Armagh.

There was no doubting their superiority on the day as they claimed their first ever MacLarnon Cup title.

Meehan had a strong game on a personal note, scoring four points including two from play, but it was all about the team and he was delighted they got across the line.

“It’s just unreal”, he said. “From the start of the year all we wanted was to win this competition and we had full belief in ourselves that we could. The school has had a lot of heartache in Ulster competitions so to finally succeed is just unreal.”

There’s an obvious theme running through the Abbey team with a full dozen of their starting players hailing from the local Four Masters club.

They’re an up and coming team and have reached the last two Ulster Minor Championship finals at St Paul’s, losing out on final day in the 2022/3 competition against Dungiven before making amends on New Year’s Day a few months back against Cavan Gaels.

Meehan missed out on their provincial success as he was overage so he was especially satisfied to get his hands on the MacLarnon Cup, the big schools’ title at ‘B’ level in Ulster.

“It’s been an amazing period for the club. I was overage at St Paul’s this year so it’s great to be part of this Abbey team. I have to mention the lads from Naomh Brid and St Naul’s, they’ve been a great help, we’re not just reliant on one club.”

Meehan also hailed the massive contribution of their management team spearheaded by Gaoth Dobhair man Stuart McFadden, while Donegal footballer Jamie Brennan’s knowledge and know-how has also been invaluable.

“They’re just unreal motivators. Stuart is brilliant and Jamie obviously has that county experience.

“I didn’t realise how much Jamie would bring to the table, I know he’s a big name, but he’s also done a lot of tactical work and we really appreciate it.”

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