Two seminarians of the Scots College featured in the annual Clericus Cup Final for the Gregorian University team.
The Clericus Cup is the annual football tournament in Rome between various seminaries and Pontifical Universities and Institutes from around the city. The tournament was founded by the football mad then Secretary of State, Cardinal Bertone and has been running for 10 years. Since its inception, it has grown rapidly, this year it included 16 teams over four groups.
This year, the Gregorian side featured two members of the Scots College community. Mark O’Donnell of the Diocese of Motherwell, in his 5th year of studies in Rome, and Emmanuel Alagbaoso, who was ordained as a deacon for the Diocese of Argyll and the Isles at the end of April, have been turning out regularly for the university side that also features players from Portugal, The Netherlands and England amongst others.
Having progressed to the final with only 2 goals scored against them, the ‘Greg’ were certainly one of the two form teams of the tournament. They faced the Pontifical Urban University, otherwise known as the ‘Urbaniana’ who had conceded the same number of goals whilst scoring freely.
The Urbaniana started the strongest side, testing the defences of the Greg team. Managing to weather that storm the first half looked to be ending all square before a lucky cross found its way into the back of the net, giving the 2 time winners of the Clericus Cup a 1-0 advantage at the break.
Conditions for the game were dry, but the Roman heat forced changes and O’Donnell was subbed early on in the second half after an efficient display at left back. Emmanuel, starting from the bench made his appearance at the 50 minute mark, with 10 minutes of the game left.
The second half was a much closer affair with the Greg making regular forays into the Urbaniana half, the fresh legs of Alagbaoso gave the attack a new lease of life, however it was not enough as the second goal came after a period of pressure from the Urbaniana attack on the Greg goal. Their 2-0 victory ensured they made it a hat-trick of titles in the Clericus Cup.
Congratulations to them and all the teams who featured in the 2017 Clericus Cup tournament.