St Patrick’s Mageean Cup winners welcomed home

St Patrick’s Mageean Cup winners welcomed home

12 January 2022

THE victorious St Patrick’s Grammar School hurlers returned to the school last week to a rapturous welcome following their victory over St Patrick’s College, Maghera in the Mageean Cup final.

Students lined the driveway and waved flags, cheered and applauded the 30 man squad and their coaches, Darren Swail, Seanpaul Gibson, Danny Toner and Oisin MacManus, as they walked with the Mageean Cup towards the school. 

Coach Darren Swail spoke of his team’s success and the inspired impact he hoped it would have on the school as a whole.

“I’m very proud of this team and what they have achieved,” he said.

“Hopefully this will inspire everybody in some way, maybe taking up hurling or striving to achieve success in whatever sport they are playing.”

A past student of St Patrick’s himself, Mr Swail reflected on how the historic win had resonated throughout the local community.

“Leading up the final and after it, several past-pupils contacted me saying how this was reminding them of their days at the school with Brother Charles and his tea chest of broken sticks, and how we used to go out every lunch time, rain, hail or shine,” he said.

While the much coveted Mageean had previously been in the school in 2019 when five Red High hurlers, including captain Ciaran Watson, helped the Down team win the cup, this was the first time the cup was won by the school in its 87 year history. 

St Patrick’s principal, Joe McCann, also highlighted the importance of the victory, saying: “This is one of those special moments of joy when we recognise a great success and the glory and honour this team has brought to our school. 

“The magnitude of the achievement has probably not sunk in yet and it is only when the players see their photo on the wall along with other great teams of the past that they will fully realise the significance of the victory in bringing a prestigious Ulster Senior A trophy to our school.”

He added: “We should all be immensely proud of this success and enjoy the lift that it has given the school in the midst of continued uncertainty.”

The journey isn’t over yet for the St Patrick’s side, who now move onto the All-Ireland series and a clash with the Munster champions in the Buggy Cup on Saturday March 5.

“We left no stone unturned in terms of preparation and we will continue to do that because we’re not finished,” said coach Swail. 

“We’ve won the Mageean Cup but there’s an All-Ireland there to be won and we’re certainly going to give it a good shot.”