St Ciaran’s, Ballygawley 0-05 St Aidan’s, Derrylin 4-14 

St. Aidan’s made it a hat-trick of Ulster titles on Tuesday with the U13.5 boys side clinching the McKee Ulster Shield in Augher.

10 points and four second-half goals powered the Derrylin school over the finish line against St. Ciaran’s of Ballygawley.

It adds to wins for the U16.5 and U15.5 age groups earlier this year in the McCormack and McEvoy Cup, with the U14 girl’s side losing out in their Ulster D Shield final last week against St. Aidan’s of Cootehill.

Teacher Richie O’Callaghan has led all three of the boy’s teams to success.

“It’s fantastic,” he said on the win.

“As Mr. McTeggart said after the game, anyone who has played football for the school this year has been involved in a final.

"Not many schools in the area would be able to say that about their selection of players throughout the school, it’s great for the school.

"It’ll be brilliant for the boys now going back to their clubs for the summer, the U14s and U16s for that group, it’ll really help them and hopefully help the clubs as well.”

O’Callaghan is also hoping to see more silverware when the same teams push on into the competition above in the next school year.

“They’ll be out early, in October time next year, so, I'd like to see them pushing on and performing better in the cup competitions.

"The older boys will be out early doors too and hopefully getting that bit of success this year will drive them on.”

There was nothing to separate the sides in the first half of Tuesday’s final with the teams both scoring 0-04 in a cagey opening to the contest.

Jamie Connolly began the scoring for Ballygawley but St. Aidan’s hit back through Joshua Melanaphy Watson and Shay McManus.

Sean Winters, Michael Traynor and Charlie McGroarty then pointed but McManus levelled things before halftime to leave it all square at the midway stage.

St. Aidan’s took control in the second-half with their opponents only managing one score through Ethan McCarron.

Melanaphy and Ethan Brown (2) kicked early points before St Aidan’s first goal arrived through a neat finish from Ruairi Maguire.

They then opened up an 11-point lead with points from Conor Hogg and Brown as Shay McManus fired in a second shot to the net.

The third goal came immediately after, Ruairi McManus punished a turnover as it became a one-sided affair at the same venue the school sealed the McCormack Cup in January.

Ruairi McManus then completed his hat-trick and tagged on a point with final scores coming from Jayden Smith, Shay McManus, Szczepan Turczyn and Brown to close out the game.

The win handed principal Pat McTeggart a treble of Ulster boys titles in 2024, with the school having not won one before January.

McTeggart, who last month announced his retirement at the end of the term, said: “We are delighted and proud of the U13.5 boys who had a fantastic win over St. Ciaran's College Ballygawley to lift the McKee Ulster Shield.

"This is a remarkable achievement as it completes a treble of Ulster Titles for the school in what has been a remarkable year.

"We are very proud of the fact that every boy who plays football in St. Aidan's has an Ulster medal and in fact, some of the lads have two Ulster medals.

"I can't think of too many schools who have achieved this success in Ulster Schools GAA but it is one we will celebrate and cherish.

"The success of the three teams is due to the hard work and time that has been put in by the coaches, especially Richie O'Callaghan who has inspired these teams to this unique treble.

"I also want to acknowledge the local clubs who work hand in hand with us share our success and like ourselves are an integral part of the community.

"As Principal I am very proud of the achievements of the teams and it sets a benchmark for all teams in the school for the future.”