Omagh’s McCullagh targets Hogan glory after destruction of holders

By Barry O’Donnell

ON the back of their brilliant demolition job on the holders last weekend, Omagh CBS attacker Ruairi McCuallgh believes there is no reason why they can’t now succeed Naas as the All-Ireland Schools champions.

The Tyrone boys went to town against their shell-shocked Kildare opponents on Saturday at Clones emerging as resounding 19-point victors by the close.

Loughmacrory scoring ace McCullagh bagged the first of Omagh’s four goals on the afternoon as they sealed an outing at Croke Park against Summerhill College, Sligo in the Hogan Cup final on St Patrick’s Day.

And he is bullish about their prospects heading into the decider on Jones Road should they replicate the sparkling performance they put in last weekend.

“To be honest there is a bit of relief. Semi-finals are just for winning no matter how you do it,” he said.

“We are into the final now and we are looking to go all the way. From that performance you can see that we have what it takes.

“In the quarter-final and semi-final of the MacRory Cup we didn’t click as well as he could. We just scraped home in both of those games. In the final I thought that we played really well.

“We looked at the video of the game and spoke about what we did well. We just built on that and it showed out there against Naas. I thought we played even better than the MacRory Cup final.”

McCullagh set the tone for the one-sided contest when he hoisted over a superb opening point inside the first minute. He felt a sequence of fine early scores helped to settle any frayed nerves in the Omagh fold.

“We kept the points ticking over early and the goals also thankfully came for us. We hadn’t been getting goals so to get four in the one game was great.

“They were reigning Hogan Cup champions so they were probably favourites coming into the match as they have that extra bit of experience over us. They have been there and done it. So we are just delighted to get over the line.”

The appearance at Headquarters on March 17th will be an occasion to relish for the whole squad and McCullagh admits that will particularly be the case for his home club Loughmacrory given their notable involvement in the squad.

“I know my family have been backing me all the way. I’m sure everyone of them was there today, aunties, uncles, friends as well as family. That’s what it is all about and for the club we have three members starting in the team, Eoin McElholm, Eoin Donaghy and myself. Those two boys are class acts.”

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