After winning a first Donegal B Schools’ Championship earlier this year Coláiste Ailigh are now on the trail of a first Ulster crown.
On Wednesday evening, the all-Irish Letterkenny school faces North East Institute, Magherafelt, under the lights in Celtic Park, Derry. (throw-in 7 pm).
Coláiste Ailigh are managed by Naomh Conaill clubman an All-Ireland Vocational Schools’ winner with Donegal Seosamh McKelvey.
St Eunan’s club players make up the bulk of the team but Letterkenny Gaels, Buncrana, Naomh Conaill and Downings also have players in the squad.
“This is our first Ulster final ever and we are really looking forward to it. We won the Donegal C Championship a few years ago and but this is the first year we won the Donegal B Championship,” said Seosamh McKelvey, who has two sons on the team, captain Máitis and Jeaic.
“We came close to winning the U-16B championship, we were beaten in the final by St Catherine’s so things are coming together for us nicely in terms of football and we are starting to produce teams that can more than compete.”
Coláiste Ailigh is only up and running since 2000 and only moved into its new school last year. Coláiste Ailigh has a school population of 250 male and female.
Following earlier round wins over Gairmscoil Chú Uladh, Finn Valley College and Crana College, Odhran MacFhionnghaile (0-4,1f), Padraig O’Riain (1-0), Máitís and Jeaic MacCeallabhuí (0-2 each), Darragh O’Tuathail, Hughie O’Merlehan, Cathar O’Dochartaigh, Oisín O’Cleirigh (0-1) each were their scorers in their 1-12 to 0-9 win over Gairmscoil Chú Uladh in the Donegal final at the end of last month.
And in last week’s Ulster semi-final Odhran MacFhionnghaile and Jeaic MacCeallabhuí posted 1-2 each and skipper Maitís MacCeallabhuí hit their other goal in their 3-11 to 1-7 win over Ballybay.
North East Institute defeated Gairmscoil Chú Uladh 4-14 to 2-11 in the other semi-final.
“All of their lads are 18/19 while we would have lads as young as 15 on our team so we are going to have to play at pace and make sure we keep the ball moving fast.
“If it comes down to a physical battle we won’t have a chance because there is no way we are going to match them in the physical stakes,” said McKelvey.
Colásiste Ailigh squad: Fiachra MacLochlainn, Macdara O’h Eanaigh, Piaras Gallchóir, Darragh O’Tuathail, Hughie O’Merlehan, Oisín O’Tuathail, Cathar O’Dochartaigh, Maitís MacCeallabhuí, Oisín O’Cleirigh, Odhran MacFhionnghaile, Padraig O’Riain, Sean Mac a tSaor, Jeaic MacCeallbhuí, Caoimhin MacLochlainn, Brian Mac a tSaoir, Diamuid O’Doinnléibhe, Padraig MacDiamada, Ailin Parsoma, Niall O’Hannigan, Fionn O’Cleirigh, Seosamh O’Doinnléibhe.