You may be forgiven for looking twice at the photograph. It wasn't taken today or yesterday. The youngsters in the photo (including Mr. Joe Higgins and Mr. John Farren) represented CCS in the now infamous Ulster Vocational Schools Championship Final in 1996. (Ask your uncles about that one!) Twenty-two years later, CCS are back in the final, once again marshalled by Mr. Farren. It's a superb reflection on the current crop considering that CCS no longer has the robust skills of Eastern Inishowen to call upon these days! This year's semi-final was a remarkable game that Mr. Farren describes below. Everyone at CCS wishes the lads all the best in the final. Do it for the boys of '96...
Danske Bank Markey Cup semi-final
Carndonagh CS 1-18 St Joseph’s Donaghmore 5-4
This Danske Bank Markey Cup semi-final in Owenbeg was a see-saw battle with Donaghmore’s ability to find the net keeping them ahead for long stretches, although ultimately it was Carndonagh’s accuracy and range of scorers that brought them through strongly in the middle of the second half and holding on at the final whistle. Carndonagh started well with points each for Oisin Hession and Lee McLaughlin, but a couple of defensive errors were cruelly punished by a very sharp Ryan Cush for the opening two goals.
Before the Inishowen side could recover, Paddy McIlduff ran off the shoulder in a fine sweeping move, taking out most of the defence; he fired to the net for a third Donaghmore goal. At eight points down, Carndonagh composed themselves and worked their way back into the game with three points from Conor O’Donnell who had a superb battle with Conor Ward throughout. By half-time the deficit was a mere two points, 0-10 to 3-3, and that closed on the re-start with scores from Oisin McGonagle and Lorcan Bradley, before Conor Ward with a goal followed by a point from Dermot McAleer pulled the Tyrone side clear once more. However, they couldn’t push on and instead Carndonagh added a flurry of points before a high ball in from Oisin McGonagle was punched to the net by Daniel Houghton. More points followed so that when Donaghmore’s fifth green flag came courtesy of Davin Cummings in the 58th minute, it couldn’t really hurt the Donegal side.
Carndonagh CS : Daniel Houghton 1-0, Conor O’Donnell 0-5, 0-2 frees, Lee McLaughlin 0-3, Oisin Hession 0-3, Lorcán Bradley 0-3, Donal Doherty 0-1, Finn McClure 0-1, Oisin McGonagle 0-1, Sean O’Neill 0-1.