St Patrick’s Academy 1-12 1-11 St Joseph’s Donaghmore
St Patrick’s Academy have qualified for this year’s MacRory cup final defeating near neighbours St Joseph’s Donaghmore by the narrowest of margins in Pairc Colmcille, Carrickmore.
Little separated the sides throughout particularly in a first half where two well organised defences proved very difficult to break down. There was evidence that with so much at stake nerves played a factor with sides not wanting to lose as opposed to forcing the issue.
Joseph Corrigan opened the scoring for Donaghmore with a confident strike before an equally confident point from Liam McGeary opened Dungannon’s account. Galbally clubmates Sean Hughes and Joseph Corrigan exchanged points from frees, before a Hughes effort gave the Academy the lead for the first time. Leo Hughes tied things up with a point before Academy full back Owen O’Neill kicked a lovely score at the mid point of the half.
A long range Sean Hughes free edged Dungannon further in front before a Corrigan free and a point from Conor O’Neill levelled up the game as the half time whistle approached. There was still time for further drama when Dungannon midfielder Dillon O’Neill who was having a growing presence in the game launched a ball goalwards. The catch was well taken by Lorcan Hegarty who turned calmly and blasted the ball to the net. Eoghan O’Neill responded for St Joseph’s as two points separated the sides at the break.
Two pointed Hughes frees gave Dungannon the perfect start before Noah Grimes opened his account for Donaghmore after a Conor McCool effort from distance restored the four point lead. Conall Morgan had an excellent afternoon marking Noah Grimes but the Donaghmore man evaded the defence in the 41st minute to finish to the net and re-ignite the contest. Again Hughes settled St Patrick’s nerves with a free before St Joseph’s Donaghmore levelled the match with a brace of Corrigan points.
Crucially for the winners they hit three unanswered points in the final ten minutes from Sheehy and a duo from Hughes gave Dungannon a cushion and despite Eoghan O’Neill and a deflected effort from Darragh Donaghy which could have dropped anywhere, it was Dungannon cheers which greeted the final whistle.
Having failed at the same hurdle last year St Patrick’s will be delighted to reach the decider against fellow Tyrone school and holders Omagh CBS. St Joseph’s can take huge plaudits for their debut season at the elite grade.