It was as much relief as enjoyment for manager, Paddy Boyle, that Colaiste na Carraige had finally climbed the steps to raise aloft the Arthurs Cup as champions.
Three times in the past, in 2010, 2013 and last year, Boyle had guided Colaiste na Carraige to the edge of the Promised Land and three times his charges had lost.
In 2010 in the school’s first Arthurs Cup final they lost to Holy Trinity, Cookstown. In 2013 St Mark’s, Warrenpoint, proved too strong on final day and last year St Mary’s High School, Clady, took the honours after extra-time.
Of the three, last year’s extra-time defeat to St Mary’s hurt the most and feeling it was the one that had got away. But the manager admitted that it had been a mighty motivating factor when he got his squad togetherfor the first time last September.
“This is our fourth final since 2010 and they were all very close and last year we lost after extra-time we made our minds up that we were going to make one almighty effort in 2016,” said Paddy Boyle. .
“We were never bold enough to say it until we got out of Donegal, but the Arthurs Cup was our target for this year and now that we have finally achieved our goal we are all very happy.
“It is just great for the young lads and the two parishes and the school to finally get our hands on the cup.We have waited a long time for this day.”
Paddy also admitted that lessons had been learned from all of the final defeats and that it was a culmination of them all that led to Tuesday’s success.
“We lost our first final here in Healy Park in 2010 and back then it was a step into the unknown but we have learned from that defeat and the subsequent defeats.
“It is not easy getting out of Donegal; our toughest game this year was against Carndonagh in the county final. That has always been a difficult hurdle and then when you step out in Ulster it is a different game.”
As for the game itself, the manager was very happy the way his team applied themselves and it was a comfortable enough victory in the end.
“We controlled the game from the word go and the four early points was the perfect start and then the goal put us in a good position.
“We eased off a little after the goal and they kicked a few points but we stepped up the tempo again and we were in a good position at half-time, six up.
“We knew they would go for it early in the second half but we weathered the storm and Colm (Garvey) made a good save and we went down the field in our first attack and Lanty (Molloy) scored to put us seven up.,” said the winning manager.