MacRory Cup Quarter Final
St Michael’s Enniskillen 1-3 v St Paul’s Bessbrook 0-10
Sometimes you leave a game after your team lose and you can think back and happily blame the referee on the defeat.
On Sunday in Clones sadly I just couldn’t do that.
A more slicker and more attack minded Bessbrook side were to reach the last 4 in this years MacRory cup with a deserving 4 point success.
Coming into the game much attention was spent on the loss of St Michael’s colossal midfielder Michael Og McGarrigle who had been ruled out for 3 months after an ankle injury picked up in a challenge game in late January.
St Paul’s Bessbrook started as warm 8/11 favourites and with 10 minutes played it was clear the bookmakers had made the right call with the favourites tag.
A Liam Kerr free followed by Shea Loye and Josh Durnin made it 0-3 to 0-0 before St Michael’s finally managed a score on the 12th minute as Tempo man Lorcan McStravick pointed after good play by Shane McGullion.
Liam Kerr of Burren was proving to be a tough man to mark and he was to add his 2nd point in the 16th minute to move his side 0-4 to 0-1 clear of the Enniskillen school.
Bessbrook were now dictating the game and they raced 6 clear as Kerr added two further scores before Shea Loye pointed after being well found by Jarlath Og Burns to make it 0-7 to 0-1 after 27 minutes.
Colm Jones did have a slight goal chance for St Michael’s late in the half but his effort was fabulously pushed away by Bessbrook custodian Michael Murphy.
Shea Loye added his 3rd of the day before right on the stroke of half time McStravick added his 2nd from a free to leave the Clones scoreboard reading, St Paul’s Bessbrook 0-8 v St Michael’s Enniskillen 0-2.
St Michael’s had a mountain to climb and in truth be told really needed the first score of the half, however Liam Kerr of Burren was to score the opening two points of the half to make it 0-10 to 0-2 and even though Bessbrook were to go the remaining 22 minutes of the half without scoring they never looked like being dragged back.
The game then was to become sloppy as St Michaels tried in vain to get back into the contest. Bessbrook however made sure the Enniskillen school would not have it easy as Ryan McSherry picked up a black card to stop a goal chance and with 8 minutes to go St Michaels were awarded a penalty.
Lorcan McStravick confidently fired his shot into the net to put 5 between them but the goal failed to build any momentum for Dom Corrigan’s (pictured) charges.
McStravick who has another year at MacRory cup football next year pointed from a close in free as the game entered injury time.
However, a Matthew McAloon goal was rightfully signalled for being a square ball as the full time whistle was blown and St Michael’s could only think of what if.
Best for St Michael’s was goalkeeper Odhran McBrien who never put a foot wrong all day. Full back Rory McCaffrey and centre half back Eoghan Curran were strong throughout, while up front McStravick’s scoring ability and the nimble James Garrity tried hardest.
MacRory Cup football is a tough and competitive environment. The likes of Rory McCaffrey of Tempo who was superb today at full back may now be called up to Pete McGrath’s Fermanagh U-21 squad, while at least 14 players from today’s squad will come into Keith Reilly’s reckoning with the Ulster Minor league set to start on March 15th for Fermanagh minors.
St Paul’s Bessbrook – Liam Kerr (Burren) 0-6, Shea Loye (Mullaghbawn) 0-3, Josh Durnin (Newry Shamrocks) 0-1.
St Michael’s Enniskillen – Lorcan McStravick (Tempo) 1-3.
MacRory Cup Semi Final’s
St Ronan’s Lurgan v St Paul’s Bessbrook
St Patrick’s Maghera v St Patrick’s Dungannon