This section is designed to provide an update on the progress of the GAA teams in St Patrick’s College Cavan throughout the 2023/24 school year during the 150th anniversary year of the school. In this historic year for the college, all our teams in the school competed strongly at Ulster Schools ‘A’ levels with 4 of the 5 teams reaching the knockout stages and the other reaching a shield final. We hope you enjoy reading about their various campaigns. Ad Meliora.


This year’s MacRory Cup was a special one as the blue riband competition in Ulster Schools football celebrated its centenary anniversary. St Patrick’s College Cavan first entered the prestigious competition in 1928, five years after its inception in 1923. The 2023/24 panel’s campaign came to an end on Saturday January 6th after they fell to a disappointing 0-11 to 0-6 defeat at the hands of St Mary’s Magherafelt in the play-off stages. In the opening round on Friday November 17th, St Pat’s travelled to Castleblayney Faughs GAA club to take on a fancied Our Lady’s Castleblayney side. After a tit for tat battle, the Monaghan side came away with a slender 2-10 to 2-8 victory. Conor Sharpe and Darragh Noonan were Cavan’s goal scorers on the day. This left the Cullies men under pressure going into their next game against last year’s Mclarnon Cup and All-Ireland ‘B’ champions St Joseph’s Donaghmore the following Friday 24th November at St Tiarnach’s park, Clones. In a disciplined display featuring some excellent score-taking, Cavan’s substitutes played a vital role in grinding out a crucial 1-10 to 1-9 victory over the Donaghmore side with half-backs Senan Sheils & Cian McCrystal amongst the scorers and had Philip Shannon in defence & the midfield pairing of Charlie Gannon and Joe Dugdale very much to the fore. Such were the fine margins in the group, going into the final round of games, all four teams were still able to reach the knockout phases. The game took place at the Roslea Shamrocks club in Fermanagh. St Pat’s drew level early in the second half when Lavey’s Finn Buckley found his range from 40 metres out but conceded a goal from a penalty and soon found themselves four points in arrears mid-way through the second half and facing an early exit from the competition. They rallied well in the fourth quarter however and kicked the last four scores of the game through Cornafaen’s Seán McFaul, Luke Maguire and a brace from the excellent Noonan that saw them claim a draw and in turn eliminate last year’s beaten finalists Holy Trinity. This set the team up for a tricky away play-off game with 2022 champions St Mary’s Magherafelt on Saturday January 6th. A poor 1st half display saw the team go in 6 points in arrears at the break and despite a spirited 2nd half, St Mary’s, backboned by Derry All-Ireland MFC winners deservedly took the spoils. Cavan’s scorers on the day were Darragh Noonan (0-5) and Ben Tully (0-1). The 34-man panel gave a huge commitment to their management team of Mr Macken, Mr McKiernan and Mr Somerville since early September, exemplified by devoting their mid-term and Christmas holidays to partake in trainings and challenge games. We thank the Obelisk group and McCrystal’s pharmacy for their generous support for the team’s preparations. A special word of thanks to past pupils Gary O’Rourke and Cormac Timoney who gave invaluable help to the squad through their goalkeeping coaching and physio work respectively. Also, a thank you to staff member Ms Yvonne Smith who prepared pre-match meals for the team and to Mr Niall Monahan for taking the team for yoga sessions. We thank the 6th year students who are moving on for their huge dedication to Gaelic games in St Pat’s over the years, with some of them departing with coveted Oisín McGrath medals from 2022 and others having played in a D’alton final as first years back in 2019. For the large number still eligible for next year, build on this years’ experience and go after the 2024/25 MacRory cup with renewed vigour and determination and who knows what can be achieved. Ad Meliora.   

MacRory Panel 2023/24: Darragh Noonan (Killygarry), Ciaran Galligan (Cavan Gaels), Joe Dugdale (Butlersbridge), Michael Monaghan (Cavan Gaels), Cillian Murphy (Butlersbridge), Ben Tully (Cavan Gaels), Joshua Shehu (Cavan Gaels) Conor Tynan (Ballymachugh), Daire Moran (Killygarry), Philip Shannon (Butlersbridge), Luke Gilmartin Ballyhaise), Ryan Corr (Crosserlough), Jack Furey (Ballyhaise), Finn Buckley (Lavey), Charlie Gannon (Killeshandra), Sean McFaul (Cornafaen), Joshua Dunne (Cavan Gaels), Justin Tayao (Cavan Gaels), Niall Young (Drumalee), Conor Sharpe, Senan Shiels (Both Mullahoran) Aaron Beatty (Belturbet), Luke Maguire (Mullahoran), Aaron Dowd, Gavin Murtagh (Both Ballyhaise), Cian McCrystal (Ramor United), Freddie Clarke (Drumlane), Dylan Brady (Mullahoran), Ben Smith (Ballyhaise), Jack O’Shannon (Drumlane), Jude McManus (Killygarry), Alex Mooney (Butlersbridge), Charlie Fallon, (Killygarry) Cian McConnell (Butlersbridge), Fiachra Brady (Gowna)   Ryan Lynch (Killygarry), Oisín Fitzpatrick & Finn Crowe (Both Cavan Gaels) (Team helpers) 

St Pat’s Cavan Macrory panel 2023/24 

Saturday 6th January 2024
St Patricks Cavan squad against St Marys Magherafelt in the McRory Cup at Magherafelt . Pictures Oliver McVeigh



The 2023/24 Rannafast side were under the guidance of Mr Donohoe, Mr Murphy, Mr Moran and Mr McEvoy for their campaign and set about claiming the school’s first title at this grade since the 2017 success. The team’s preparations began swiftly after the return in late August and set their sights on the group stages which pitted us against local rivals in St Michael’s Enniskillen, St Macartan’s Monaghan and Patrician High School Carrickmacross.   We began the group stage on October 3rd with a win in Derrylin over St Michael’s on a scoreline of 2-11 to 0-10 with team captain Ultan O Reilly hitting 1-3 and Finn Crowe hitting 1-1 in a good overall team performance. This set us up nicely for the clash with Patrician High School Carrickmacross in Cootehill on October 11th. After a lacklustre 1st half performance which saw us down 1-7 to 0-5 at half time, the team showed tremendous spirit and work rate in the 2nd half to come away with 0-18 to 1-10 win. Missing some key men away on a TY trip, the group dug very deep and showed some real character against a well drilled Carrick team. The final group game took place on Friday 27th October at Scotstown GAA against the Sem. After an intense battle, the ability of key players like Tadhg Sheils, Charlie Fallon and Paddy Brides to score goals at vital stages coupled with some outstanding defending from Conor Doyle, Fiachra Brady and Oisín Maguire among others saw St Pat’s secure a vital win on a scoreline of 3-7 to 0-15.   This meant that St Pat’s qualified as group winners and top seeds and were then drawn against the Rannafast Cup holders St Paul’s Bessbrook in a quarter final fixture played at Crossmaglen on November 10th. In a game where we led from start to finish, Fíachra Brady’s ability to nullify Bessbrook’s’ danger man was key to a 1-11 to 1-7 victory in a controlled display with Nathan Quigley’s contribution of 1-1 decisive in the second half.  This set the team up for a semi-final clash with St Patrick’s Dungannon who had gone unbeaten throughout the past 2 years winning the Corn na nÓg and Oisín McGrath cup along the way.  Played in perfect conditions in Castleblayney on November 28th, after 15 minutes the sides were level on 0-2 points apiece when really, we should have been ahead after creating an excellent goal chance. The game was won in the next 9 minutes when Dungannon capitalised on 2 unforced errors and direct running from deep to score 3 goals in 8 minutes to leave a half time score of 3-4 to 0-3. An improved 2nd half display wasn’t enough to get back into the contest and Dungannon again showed their ability to pounce on errors by scoring a 4th goal to leave a final score of 4-10 to 1-5. The performance on the day was unfortunately probably the worst of the campaign however hopefully both the management and the players learned lots from the experience and see the standard of performance required at the top level in Ulster. As a consolation, Dungannon went on to complete the treble of Corn na nÓg, Oisin Mc Grath and Rannafast titles for this group, beating St Pats Armagh in a tightly contested final.   This group can take a lot of positives from the campaign and hopefully got a taste of some of the effort and sacrifices required to compete at the highest level in Ulster. Commitment to training and games over school holidays and TY work experience, a gym programme and training in the dark at 7am in the morning will stand to this group and with 31 players from the panel drawn from Transition Year and Third year there is every reason to be hopeful that in the next two years St Pats should have a core group of lads who should really be challenging for Mac Rory Cup honours again. 

Rannafast Panel 2023/24: Cian McConnell (Butlersbridge), Cathal Smith (Lavey), Conor Lynch (Killygarry ),Nathan Quigley (Denn), Jakub Iwanski (Belturbet), Fiachra Brady (Gowna), Aron O’Reilly (Kilygarry), Conan Dowdall (Killygarry) Oisin Maguire (Mullahoran), Bobby Hanley (Cavan Gaels),  Daniel Somers (Cavan Gaels), Ciaran Sharpe (Mullahoran), Emiliano Vennitelli (Cavan Gaels), Faolan Graham (Butlersbridge), Eivinas Griksas  (Cavan Gaels), Fiachra Kiernan (Drumlane), Killian Reilly (Killygarry), Cian Galligan (Lacken), Finian Smith (Denn), Cillian Costello (Crosserlough), Oisin Sheils (Mullahoran), Kian O’Connell (Laragh United), Divine Imade (Butlersbridge), James O’Reilly (Kildallan), Diarmuid Hyland (Lavey), Paddy Brides (Killygarry). Jamie Lovett (Killygarry), Tadgh Sheils (Mullahoran), Conor Doyle (Cavan Gaels), Gary McCabe (Killygarry), Jay Graham (Lavey), Caolan Fitzpatrick (Gowna), Charlie Fallon (Killygarry), Finn Crowe (Cavan Gaels), Ultan O Reilly (Mullahoran), Danny Brady (Laragh United), Emmett Reilly (Mullahoran), Cormac Murray (Drumlane), Joseph Crowe (Lacken), John Donohoe (Mullahoran)  A Big Thank You to all our helpers over the year: Ryan Lynch, Ewan Mc Caul, Jamie Cullivan, Calum Barry, Sean Fay Grogan, Aodhán Dinneny, Gavin Murtagh, Jay Broxton  

 St Pat’s Cavan Rannafast Cup Panel 2023/24





The Oisín McGrath competition began quickly after the Christmas break with the competition now taking place at a slightly earlier time on the Ulster school’s calendar. The St Pat’s panel was mainly comprised of third year students along with several second years who strengthened the panel greatly. They commenced their preparations in early November under the management of Mr McKeon and Mr Quinn with the hopes of reclaiming the title last won by the school in 2022. Their campaign began on Friday 12th January with an impressive 2-8 to 1-5 victory over St Michael’s Enniskillen at Derrylin. Lavey’s Cathal Smith scored from the penalty spot with Cavan goalie Patrick Walsh saving a penalty and Simon Kolimar performing strongly in defence. The team then backed up this victory with a hard-fought victory over Monaghan rivals Our Lady’s Castleblayney in round 2 on Thursday 25th January in Denn GAA on a scoreline of 1-10 to 1-9. In an intense battle, Jay Graham’s contribution of 1-6 proved decisive in securing the points for St Pat’s with other strong performances from Michael Smith in midfield and Samuel Clarke at the back. In their final group game on Tuesday January 29th, the team again faced Monaghan opposition in the form of St Macartan’s Monaghan. The game took place at Monaghan Harps GAA with St Pat’s winning 4-7 to 1-6. Goal scorers on the day were Senan Smith, Cathal Smith and Jay Graham all of which came at crucial times as the ‘Sem’s’ fightback was kept at arm’s length. The team then entered the knockout stages as ‘top seeds’ and were drawn against St Mary’s Magherafelt in the quarter final clash played at Augher on 21st February. In a high-scoring, absorbing encounter, the Cavan lads played some excellent football which was illustrated by a cracking team move finishing in a goal for Fiachra Mooney. Other top performers on the day were Jay Graham and Míchael Smith however it wasn’t enough as the Derry men squeezed home on a scoreline of 3-11 to 3-9.   This group made huge strides in this campaign and showed signs of massive development to top their group and no doubt they will have their eyes firmly set on going a step or two further in the Rannafast Cup next Autumn and challenging for honours.   

St Pat’s Cavan Oisín McGrath panel 2023/24 



CORN NA NÓG (U14.5) 

The Corn nan Óg panel for 2023/24 looked to build on a strong D’alton campaign the previous spring, which saw them lose out narrowly to eventual winners St Colman’s in the semi-final. The team commenced preparations in early September under the management team of Mr Gunn, Mr Bogue and Mr Carney and were drawn in a group with St Eunan’s Letterkenny, Omagh CBS and St Michael’s Enniskillen. The panel began preparations with intensive training and impressive challenge game wins over Leinster ‘A’ colleges St Mel’s Longford and St Pat’s Navan. The team opened their campaign in brilliant fashion with a comfortable defeat of St Michael’s Enniskillen in an all-round strong team performance. They followed this up with a narrow 3-point loss to Omagh CBS on a scoreline of 6-9 to 5-9. Daire McCrystal, Senan Smith, Jude Shiels and Conor McCabe were amongst the Cavan goal scorers on the day. They then faced St Eunan’s Letterkenny in the final round in a game which decided who progressed to the knockouts. The team were pipped in a tit for tat battle on a scoreline of 4-10 to 2-12 by St Eunan’s who then emerged out of the group phases.    The squad would then switch its focus to the shield competition the Sciath na nÓg and were drawn against Abbey CBS in the semi-final. An excellent performance saw them blitz the Newry school on a scoreline of 3-9 to 1-3 in Middletown and set them up for a final date against St Mary’s Magherafelt. Daire McCrystal and Excel Imade were some of the standout players in Middletown on the day. The final then took place on 6th December at Tyrone GAA centre of excellence at Garvaghy. After a very tight battle played in difficult weather conditions, the Derry school struck for a late goal and prevailed in a low scoring contest on a scoreline of 3-4 to 1-5 with Exceedingly Imade among several strong performers on the day. The team will look to learn from their experiences this year and now look forward to a crack at the Oisín McGrath competition next year with some panel members already involved at this older age group for the 2024 campaign.  

Oluebebe Azubuike (Cavan Gaels), Euan Barry (Butlersbridge), Enda Clarke (Killygarry), Fionnán Crowe (Lacken), Jack Fallon (Killygarry), Jack Forde (Laragh United), Daniel Galligan (Denn), Leon Gilmartin (Ballyhaise), Harry Gray (Killygarry), Gearoid Griffin (Ballymachugh), Justinas Gritenas (Cavan Gaels), Shay Hyland (Killygarry), Exceedingly Imade (Butlersbridge), Excel Imade (Butlersbridge), Dylan Keaney (Crosserlough), Finn Keaney (Killygarry), Aiden Leddy (Drumlane), Eoin Lynch (Ballyhaise), Conor McCabe (Denn), Daire McCrystal (Ramor United), Darragh McKenna (Mullahoran), Seán Moran (Killygarry), Diarmuid Murphy (Belturbet), Donal O’Meara (Lacken), Danny O’Reilly (Crosserlough), Jude Shiels (Cavan Gaels), Ciaran Shiels (Laragh United), Colm Shiels (Laragh United), Matthew Smith (Drumalee), Ruairí Smith (Killygarry), Senan Smith (Denn), Oisín Winkler (Killygarry), Daire Young (Drumalee) 

St Pat’s Cavan Corn na nÓg panel 2023/24



DALTON (U13.5)

Our D’Alton team lost narrowly in the semi final to eventual champions St. Pats, Maghera. It was the fifth game in a campaign that began in early November, with 61 boys attending for trials. Previous to that, over 90 first year boys played in a school based GAA blitz, with the finals held in the Air Dome in Co. Mayo. In total, 16 clubs were represented on the final squad where our boys got their first taste of St. Pat’s football.
Three early challenge games were played against St. Jarlaths, Claregalway College and Summerhill College, with three comprehensive victories recorded.
A summary of D’Alton championship matches is as follows:
Round 1 Vs. St Pats, Armagh
This was a close fought, 2 point victory against the eventual semi-finalists that was played on the 3g in Clones. It came right down to the wire with some excellent goalkeeping from George Donohoe (Drumalee) and late defending keeping out Armagh’s attack. The final score was 2:13 to 4:5 with our goals coming from Jack Forde (Laragh) and Odhrán O’Reilly (Mullahoran).
Round 2 Vs. St. Macartans
The first of two Cavan – Monaghan derbies was a tight game in the first half with only a couple of points separating the teams at half time. In the second half our boys scored some brilliant goals and pulled away to win on a scoreline of 7:17 to 0:08.
Round 3 Vs. Our Lady’s, Castleblaney
A much tighter game developed in the final round as the St. Pats boys found it hard to break down a packed Castleblaney defence. Two early goals on the counter attack settled Blaney but our defence tightened up thereafter. The superior fitness of the St. Pats boys showed in the final five minutes as we kicked 4 points to no reply. Three crucial points from Butlersbridge man Senan Graham and a free from the excellent Enda Burke (Drumlane). Final score was 0:15 to 3:4.
Quarter Final Vs. St. Michael’s, Enniskillen
The never say die attitude of our boys was evident in this epic battle. 7 points down with 7 minutes left, it looked like the end of the D’Alton campaign. Enda Burke and Adam Rudden (Laragh) had different ideas with two cracking goals helping to put us one point up. With seconds left on the clock Enniskillen’s danger man Jim Sherry responded to force a draw and extra time.
That, however, was the last score St. Michaels would manage as the St. Pats boys, led by the efforts of Zach Byrne (Cavan Gaels), Darragh McKenna (Mullahoran) and Emmet Corkery (Drung)
dominated extra time to run out 5-point winners.
Final Score 4:12 to 4:07 (After ET). Goals from Senan Graham, Adam Rudden and two strikes from Enda Burke.
Semi Final Vs. St. Pats, Maghera
Strong winds and driving rain contributed to a low scoring encounter with eventual champions, St Pats, Maghera. With three minutes left it looked like Donncha Gaffneys (Crosserlough) point would seal our place in the D’Alton final. It came just after our third goal of the day and put four points between the teams.
Maghera, however, were not done. They won the next kickout and drove down the field to reply with a goal and three unanswered points. Despite some late, late efforts which almost yielded a penalty when Donncha Gaffney was fouled just outside the box, Maghera held out. Final score of 3:6 to 3:4.
The 34 boys who came together can hold their heads high after their efforts. No more could have asked of the players from the management team of Mr. Duignan, Mr. McNerney and Mr. Wharton.
While the year did not end the way they wanted, they gained massive experience and proved time and again they are a match for the best Ulster has to offer. This team are far from finished.
Back row left to right: George Donohoe (Drumalee), Cian Fitzpatrick (Drumlane), Tom Doherty (Killygarry), Adam Rudden (Laragh), Paddy Farrelly (Laragh), Donncha Gaffney (Crosserlough), Senan Graham (Butlersbridge), Dylan McDonald (Killygarry), Jack Forde (Laragh, Faolán Osojca (Templeport), Enda Burke (Drumlane), Zach Byrne (Captain, Cavan Gaels), Eoghan Galligan (Denn), Dáire Halton (Lacken, James Finlay (Cavan Gaels), Iarlaith O’Reilly (Drung), Jack McCrann (Drumlane, Cormac Brady (Butlersbridge). Front row left to right: Charlie Fay (Drumlane), Ronán Freehill (Drumlane), Finn Boylan (Butlersbridge), Tomás MacDwyer (Butlersbridge), Ódhran O’Reilly (Mullahoran), Ryan Lynch (Ballyhaise), Killian Smith (Vice Captain, Lavey), Darragh McKenna (Mullahoran), Emmet Corkery (Drung), Oran O’Connell (Laragh), James Kelleher (Butlersbridge), Cathal McEntee (Lavey), James Greene (Butlersbridge), Aodhgán Duffy (Ballinagh), Conor McMahon (Drumalee), Aaron Farrelly (Denn).
Thanks to Emmet Jackson (Drung) and Ben O’Hagan (Killygarry) for doing our stats, and to Cian Smith (Lavey), Charlie Fallon (Killygarry), Caolán Fitzpatrick (Gowna), Tadgh Sheils (Mullahoran), Ultan O’Reilly (Mullahoran) and Oisín Fitzpatrick (Cavan Gaels) as team helpers.
St Pat’s Cavan Dalton Panel 2023/24