By Niall Gartland
TALENTED Omagh CBS forward Conor Owens is hoping there’ll be more yet more celebratory scenes for the group after Friday’s Hogan Cup final showdown against Summerhill College, Sligo.
The MacRory Cup final win over Holy Trinity will live long in the memory for all involved – not just the game itself but the post-match celebrations at O’Neill’s Healy Park, and the homecoming they received back at the school itself the very next day. And wouldn’t it just as gratifying for the team if they come out on top of tomorrow’s Hogan Cup final, the most prized competition in schools football.
Beragh Red Knights footballer Conor Owens said: “We’re really looking forward to the final, it’ll be a tough task against Summerhill. They beat St Brendan’s Killarney in the semi-final, that was a big scalp for them.
“The MacRory Cup final was a great experience, but we just have to think about what it was like after that game. We’re thinking about what it might be like after the Hogan Cup final, it’d be something very special.”
Owens delivered a particularly strong performance in Omagh’s Hogan Cup semi-final destruction of Naas CBS. It seems as the bearpit of MacRory Cup football was perfect preparation for the national stage.
“It’s very tough to get out of Ulster. MacRory football is one of the hardest competitions I’ve ever between involved in between winter football and the strength of our opponents. I suppose we got a bit more freedom against Naas and our experience of tough battles in the MacRory really stood to us.”
Owens is bidding to become the first ever Beragh Red Knight’s footballer to pocket a Hogan Cup medal. He’s conscious he’s representing his club and recently met with Omagh CBS’ MacRory Cup captain of 1974, Colm McAleer, another Beragh man.
“I owe the club a lot, and I actually met Colm McAleer recently after the MacRory Cup final. He was the only other Beragh man who has won the MacRory. It’d be nice to go one step further and win a Hogan.”
Owens also hailed the influence of the Brothers’ three-man management team of Diarmaid McNulty, Pat McNabb and Ciaran McBride.
“Pat and Diarmaid work very well together on the coaching side of things. Pat focuses more on defence and Diarmaid is more attack-orientated, he was a forward himself. Mr McBride is very influential as well in keeping our feet on the ground, he doesn’t let us lose the run of ourselves.”