St. Michael’s will go in search of their first Ulster schools GAA title since 2012 and their first Rannafast Cup crown since 2006 when they take on St. Patrick’s Cavan in the final this Saturday in Clones (1.30pm).
The Enniskillen school have saw off some big names en route to the decider with a quarter-final victory over Dungannon followed by a win over competition favourites St. Patrick’s Maghera last Wednesday afternoon.
And coach Gerard Donnelly believes another massive challenge lies ahead if St. Michael’s are to get their hands on the silverware on Saturday.
“We have got this far and we now want to go on and win it but to do that we are going to have to play very, very well because Cavan are well drilled, well set up and have a lot of very good players,” said Donnelly.
“We played them in a challenge match at the start of the year and they beat us well although we were using the game as a trial game and I’m not sure how serious Cavan took it. We do know though that they are very big and strong and it is going to be a massive test. Cavan would be expecting to win this but we have been underdogs in both our quarter-final and semi-final so it is nothing new for us,” he added. 
With both sides having strong forward lines, Donnelly knows that the midfield battle could well hold the key for success in Clones.
“Cavan’s full forward line and midfield are very strong so the question for us is can we get our hands on enough ball to stop the ball going into their men and then get enough ball into our men. We have players to cause them bother but they key is getting enough ball into those players so the midfield battle is going to be massive,” he said.
In terms of scoring threat, there is a doubt over the availability of Micheal Glynn who missed the semi-final through injury and his absence would be a blow to St. Michael’s. Other than that though Donnelly reports a clean bill of health and he feels that his players will take a lot of heart from the win over Maghera as they came from behind to snatch victory with a late goal.
 “We would take a lot of confidence from that. We didn’t play that well that day but semi-finals are for winning and the manner of the win should also stand to us,” he commented.
Defensively, St.Michael’s will look to get a hand on a lively Cavan attack and will look to the likes of goalkeeper Phelim O’Connor, captain Josh Largo Ellis, Josh Horan, Gareth McGovern and Lee Green to keep them under wraps.
They will also be hoping that midfield pair Aaron Tierney and Joe McDade can get their hands on a fair share of possession around the middle of the park and if they can do that and get a good supply into the attack then the likes of Darragh McBrien, Eimhin Curran and Ryan McGovern are more than capable of keeping the scoreboard ticking over.
With a first final in over five years for the school, Saturday will be a big day for St. Michael’s but one that they are looking forward to.
“There is no doubt that everyone is looking forward to the game and there is a great buzz around the school,” concluded a hopeful Donnelly.