Omagh captain Lyndsey McCay stepped out of the shadow of her big sister to complete a notable family double on Saturday when she lifted the Ulster Senior Cup following a 2-0 win over Raphoe in an entertaining final at Stormont.
Lyndsey is the younger sister of Ireland’s most-capped sportswoman Shirley McCay, who came home with a silver medal after the World Cup in in August.
After Saturday’s game, the Omagh captain attributed her team’s first ever Senior Cup triumph to the the euphoria which has been sweeping the town since that unforgettable day in London four months ago.
“The whole club has been on a high since Shirley and Ireland performed so incredibly well at the World Cup,” Lyndsey said.
“To have had someone like my big sister actually involved in the tournament and the fact she formerly played for Omagh made Ireland’s achievement even more special. I think that’s what made the difference on Saturday and I honestly think the World Cup legacy made us want it more because it gave the team such a lift at the time and ever since.”
“We had a good chat at half-time and we went out and played a lot better after that and I think we deserved the win. It was the third final of my career and the first time I have ever been on the winning side, so I am absolutely delighted.”
“As well as her World Cup success, Shirley also got an Ulster Shield winner’s medal with Pegasus on Boxing Day so it’s about time I got in on the act!”
Had there been a player-of-the-match award, Lyndsey, who was a tower of strength in the Omagh defence, would have been closely challenged by Dani Darragh, who ran the show in midfield.
Lyndsey (26) added: “It was a great team performance but I though Dani was outstanding and she wanted to play in the final so much that she missed a friend’s wedding to line out in the game.”
Raphoe coach Richard Tinney added: “Omagh deserved it and we never really got going as the girls found playing on the water pitch difficult as it’s something they aren’t used to.”
“But it was the same for Omagh and they coped better, so well done to them.”
Two superbly taken goals in the last 12 minutes separated the teams as Omagh’s second-half dominance was eventually rewarded.
Most of the goalmouth action was crammed into the final quarter of the game after the best chance of the first-half had fallen to Raphoe’s Wendy Patterson, whose penalty corner was deflected to safety.
Donegal keeper Heather Humphrey came to the rescue when she saved Amy McCollum’s shot at point-blank range in the 55th minute. Sixty seconds later, Alison Long denied Patterson at the other end after she had raced clear of the Omagh defence to find herself one-on-one with the keeper.
But with 13 minutes left, Darragh, set up Emma Shortt, who finished with a first-time shot low into the far corner of the net.
With five minutes remaining, Omagh got the insurance goal when Aimee Buchanan swept the ball home from close range after a flowing move to spark the celebrations.
After the game, Omagh captain Lyndsey was presented with the trophy by Ulster Hockey President Adare Brady.
Meanwhile, Mark Stevenson’s hat-trick in a 6-0 home win over Raphoe saw the defending champions move back to the top of the Ulster Premier table, a point ahead of Instonians.
In Saturday’s other game, South Antrim moved up to fourth after an 8-0 win over Antrim in Lisburn where Chris Henry (2), Paul Maguire (2), Paddy Cochrane (2), Chris Mark, Adam Glass got the goals.
Junior League finals
Junior One: Banbridge 3 Lisnagarvey 4
Junior Two: Bangor 8 Mossley 9
Junior Three: Mossley 1 Newry 0
Junior Four: North Down 3 CI 6
Junior Five: North Down 1 Portrush 3.