Sunday February 20th
MacRory Cup Quarter Final
St Michael’s Enniskillen v St Paul’s Bessbrook
Clones @ 2.00pm
St. Michael’s Enniskillen and St Paul’s Bessbrook go head to head on Sunday in Clones after last weeks meeting in Inniskeen was postponed due to a waterlogged pitch with a Semi Final place up for grabs.
The Bessbrook school are only in the MacRory Cup a few years but have already gained full respect by all opponents. They secured a Quarter final place with a 3-8 to 2-7 victory over Armagh neighbours St Patrick’s. That play-off victory was sealed thanks to two late goals after a storming run by Man of the Match Jarlath og Burns played in substitute Niall Magennis for a fine finish before Ryan McSherry sent the Bessbrook fans wild with an injury time winner.
The Bessbrook school who lost the 2013 MacRory Cup Final to St Patrick’s Maghera are a fine running side with midfielder Jarlath Og Burns a powerful and constant threat. Declan Loye and Conor Clarke are impressive defenders while attackers Shea Loye and Liam Kerr have put up an impressive scoring spread thus far. The Armagh school will fancy knocking St Michaels out of the competition but have also picked up 2 defeats in 5 group games before Christmas with noteable heavy defeats by 2-18 to 1-9 v St Patricks Cavan and 6-8 to 0-6 v St Colmans Newry.
When talking about heavy defeats it cannot be underestimated how well St Michaels have done in coming back from a 5-22 to 2-10 defeat to St Patricks Dungannon in Tempo back in October. Since that Dominic Corrigan’s side have gained some impressive wins over 2-7 to 1-7 v St Macarten’s Monaghan, 2-5 to 0-8 v St Patricks Maghera and 1-11 to 0-5 v St Marys Magherafelt.
A major loss for St. Michael’s is that of Erne Gaels midfielder Michael Óg McGarrigle who suffered a serious ankle injury in January which has the Fermanagh minor ruled out for at least 3 months and puts him in serious doubt for the Antrim Ulster MFC clash.
Enniskillen though have some fine talented players with the likes of James McCaffrey, Rory McCaffrey and Shane McGullion all having great seasons.
Colm Jones (pictured) of Derrygonnelly Harps is full of running and can play in a number of positions while Tempo attacker Lorcan McStravick is one of the hottest properties along with his club team mate Tiarnan Bogue who won an Ulster Colleges All Star.
Its no doubting the extra game will be a major help to St Paul’s Bessbrook but St Michael’s have had some testing challenge games against Connacht opponents that will have helped them.
The MacRory Cup looks to be wide open with a fancied side of St Patrick’s Cavan or St Patrick’s Dungannon set to be knocked out on Saturday. When you also consider new boys St Ronan’s Lurgan who are a new school amalgamated are huge Semi finalist underdogs then there is a great chance for Enniskillen or Bessbrook to make a step closer to the March 17th showpiece.
(1) Saturday 20th February @ 2.00pm in Corduff
St Patrick’s Cavan v St Patrick’s Academy Dungannon
(2) Sunday 21st February @ 2.00pm in Clones
St Paul’s Bessbrook v St Michael’s Enniskillen
N.B. In the event of a draw after 60 minutes, extra time will be played.
The draw for the Semi-finals will be made after the game on Saturday with St Ronan’s Lurgan and St Patrick’s Maghera.
The Semi-finals will be played as per schedule on the weekend 26th – 28th February.