When St Michael’s last won the MacRory Cup back in 2012, Conor Love was in attendance as the Enniskillen school defeated St Patrick’s Maghera.

Love was in his final year at primary school at the time and ever since then it has been his dream to play in the Ulster Schools’ Blue Riband event.

Fast forward seven years and Love is in his last year in the Drumclay seat of learning and that dream will become reality on Monday when St Michael’s take on Omagh CBS in the decider.

“When I was in P7 I went to see the 2012 MacRory Cup final which St Michael’s won and since that day it has been my goal to play in a MacRory Cup final. It is something that has been an ambition for the last seven years,” said the fleet footed attacker.

Love is no stranger to the big occasion and was a key player as Enniskillen Gaels lifted the Ulster Minor Club Tournament title with victory over Ballinascreen on New Year’s Day 2018. Love bagged the only goal of the game on the day as Enniskillen secured a 1-06 to 0-06 victory and while he acknowledges that the experience of that game will stand to him, he knows the MacRory Cup final is bigger again.

“Having played in the Ulster Club final will help with the experience of the big match but this is bigger again, there will be a big crowd and the whole school will be behind us,” he commented.

St Michael’s face a big test when they take on Omagh CBS in the Athletic Grounds on Monday. The Tyrone side put five goals past them in the McCormack Cup semi-final back in January although Love feels they have learnt from the mistakes they made that day.

“We came out of the match positive because although we conceded five goals we played some very good football and we knew exactly what we had to work on.

“The goals were as much down to our mistakes as good play from Omagh and we have shown since then that we have learned the lessons.

“We know from that semi final the quality that Omagh have and I’m sure that they will have pushed on since then but we have too.

“We will give Omagh great respect but we have great belief and confidence in ourselves,” he added.

The Enniskillen player also believes that St Michael’s passage to the final which included one point wins over Abbey CBS and Maghera will stand them in good stead for final.

“We had beaten Abbey by 17 points in the group stage but it was always going to be a battle in the quarter final. They had a really good defensive system, probably the best we have come up against this year. Maghera was another hard battle and those games will stand to us going into the final,” said Conor.

So what would it mean to return home on Monday as a MacRory Cup winner?

“The MacRory Cup is such a prestigious competition with the best of Ulster in it so to win it would be an unreal achievement,” he stated.