BY KIERAN LYNCH
IT’S crunch time in the MacRory Cup, as the competition has reached the last eight, with three games up for decision this weekend and one next week.
St Patrick’s Maghera and Holy Trinity Cookstown clash on Friday night, in what is a repeat of last year’s semi-final. Sixteen-time winners Maghera were one of only three teams in their group, and they come into this weekend with a 100 per cent winning record, having seen off both St Colman’s and Our Lady’s Castleblayney, and if they are to add another MacRory title, they will be leaning on forwards Johnny McGuckian and Ciaran Chambers. Their opponents, Holy Trinity were run close by St Patrick’s Cavan in the play-off round, but a late goal from Michael McElhatton helped them to earn a 2-8 to 1-7 win.
On Saturday, last year’s winners St Mary’s Magherafelt take on Patrician High School Carrickmacross. The holders have had no problems finding the back of the net, with nine goals scored in their three games played.
They are benefitting from a spread of goal scorers, as Niall O’Donnell, who scored in last year’s final, has continued to find the net this season, whilst both Conall Higgins and Joshua Cassidy have netted braces.
Patrician will be no pushovers however, as they stunned St Ronan’s Lurgan early in the competition with a 3-9 to 0-9 win, and overcame Our Lady’s 2-10 to 0-9 last time out.
Finally, on Wednesday St Macartan’s Monaghan host St Pat’s Academy Dungannon. St Pat’s were the final team to come through the playoff round, but they did so in style. Having trailed St Michael’s Enniskillen 2-3 to 0-2 after 10 minutes, they settled into the game and roared back to win 3-11 to 2-8.
For St Macartan’s, their key win of the group phase came against Patrician High, with Dylan Reilly finding the back of the net six minutes from time, to win the Monaghan derby