Charlie Kielt recalls last St Pat's MacRory win
IT has been a long time since either Maghera or Enniskillen have won the MacRory Cup final, but Monday represents a chance for both sides to end their drought.
Gaelic Life contacted members of the last Maghera and Enniskillen teams to win the titles. We wanted to get their memories of the finals, what it meant to them at the time, and how the victories affected their futures.
Maghera’s last MacRory Cup title was in 2003. They met their south Derry rivals St Mary’s Magherafelt in the decider. Magherafelt had only reached the MacRory Cup final once before, in 1996, and Maghera had beaten them on that occasion. Therefore, the tensions leading up to the game were heightened.
Magherafelt bossed the first half of the game, and led 1-4 to 0-2 at half time, the goal coming from Collie Devlin. However, and Maghera came out in the second half, held Magherafelt scoreless and scored 1-8 to win the game. Michael Friel got Maghera’s goal and Gerard O’Kane played a blinder after having gone of injured in the first half.
Charlie Kielt started at corner forward on the St Pat’s Maghera team that won the MacRory Cup in 2003
RS: How old were you that season?
CK: I was quite young on that team, I was a 5th year. To be honest, we would always have had an ambition of winning a MacRory Cup. It was a huge deal for me because my Da works at the school. So it would always have been an ambition of mine right the way up through school.
RS: What did you think of the team?
CK: It was a very strong panel. I was on the panel the year before in fourth year. I was lucky enough to get on the first game. That gave me a bit of confidence.
RS: What was the season like?
CK: In the quarter-final we needed an equaliser to take it to a replay. We won in Omagh, then we beat Carrickmacross. They had beaten us in the Rannafast.
Because we had a replay we had a bit more experience. All our matches were in Casement Park, and we had the same routine four or five weeks in a row.
RS: What was the build up like?
CK: In terms of the TV coverage it didn’t really effect us, and by the time we got to the final we were used to it. I can remember jumping round the field after the win. But it really didn’t sink in for a while. We had a good night in Walsh’s and we had a big reception in Maghera.
RS: What was the final like?
CK: I don’t really remember much about it [the final]. It was scary for a while. There was a huge amount of pressure on us because of the tradition. There was a lot of pressure to win that day. We got some lucky breaks that day as well. You need some good fortune.
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