MacRory Cup Final: Tyrone schools battle it out for Ulster Schools' ultimate prize

Danske Bank MacRory Cup Final: Omagh CBS v St Pat's Academy, Dungannon

Venue: Athletic Grounds, Armagh Date: Sunday, 11 February Throw-in: 15:00 GMT

Coverage: Watch live on BBC iPlayer and BBC Sport website, report, reaction & highlights on BBC Sport website & app

For the second year in a row, the MacRory Cup final is an all-Tyrone affair with Omagh CBS attempting to retain their title in Armagh on Sunday.

Omagh, who are also All-Ireland champions having won the Hogan Cup last year, face St Pat's Academy Dungannon.

The Dungannon school's last appearance in the MacRory Cup decider was 2015.

"All the way coming up through school we never won a game as a team until this year," says vice-captain Sean Hughes.

"The year below us is a very good team but there was no spotlight on us.

"The schools is starved of MacRory Cup success recently so now we are in the final, there is some spotlight on us now."

History beckons

Omagh CBS has never won back-to-back MacRory Cup titles.

However the school will be aiming to use their experience of the big day when they battle it out with their Tyrone neighbours for the ultimate prize in Ulster Schools' football.

"It's obviously class to be back in this privileged position again," says Omagh vice-captain Ruairi McCullagh, who is one of half a dozen survivors from last year's winning team.

"They don't come round too often so for the boys from last year it's about keeping heads right and leading the young boys through.

"We have to let them know what it's all about and feed a bit of experience we gained last year through to them."

Both sides came through tight semi-finals by a single point, with the Academy defeating local rivals St Joseph's Donaghmore and the CBS side getting the better of St Mary's Magherafelt.

Their quarter-finals were no less dramatic; St Patrick's needing a penalty shoot-out to make it through against Patrician Carrickmacross, while the holders had a one-point victory over Our Lady's Castleblayney.

Scraping through

Both teams can take positives from their adventurous run to the final.

"Our team is very gritty and somehow we always scrape over the line," says McCullagh, "that is testament to the team and the players".

"It's a good sign when you're not playing well and still winning and we have watched Dungannon and they are the same, they are never beaten. They will want to beat us, and we have to embrace that."

Hughes, who scored 0-8 in the St Pat's semi-final win, said the best feeling he ever had on a football field was the sound of the final whistle in that game, knowing he was going to play in a MacRory Cup final in his last year at the school.

"There's two or three games this year we should have been beaten and weren't," Hughes added, "so it's good we have a team that is resilient and can get through those games".

"We will go into the final with the same mindset."