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Dungannon Academy Through To Mac Rory Semis
St Patricks Academy 2=14 0-11 St Macartans
St Patricks Academy set up an intriguing all Tyrone semi final, when they brushed aside the challenge of St Macartan’s College Monaghan. On a perfect afternoon for football the Tyrone school travelled to Gavin Duffy Park in confident mood and from the first attack they controlled the contest before emerging worthy winners. Captain Ronan Cassidy led by example and was the game’s outstanding player finishing with an excellent 2-7.
Finn Spence opened the scoring in the first minute taking a point when there was a goal opportunity. Luke McManus responded from a placed ball before Spence restored Dungannon’s lead. Nicholas Sherlock tied up the game in the seventh minute with the game was being played at a lively pace.
Ronan Cassidy opened his account with a free before midfielder Sheehan Fay increased the Academy advantage. Matthew Finn halved the deficit before Matthew Quinn and Ronan Cassidy edged the Academy further in front as the game entered the second quarter. Tommy Mallen kicked a nice point for the Monaghan lads as the game ebbed and flowed. Cassidy and McManus exchanged points before the first pivotal moment. Sheehan Fay charged forward and forced a good save from Moyna but the recently introduced Ryan Lavery reacted quickest to gather the rebound, but in doing so was fouled and the referee pointed to the spot. Captain Cassidy stepped forward to slam the penalty to the net and for the first time clear daylight separated the sides with 27 minutes played.
Credit St Macartan’s, they reacted positively. Luke McManus on his home pitch reduced arrears with a point before the same player was adjudged to have been fouled and within 3 minutes a second penalty was awarded. Unfortunately for McManus his shot sailed high and over the bar. At the other end Ronan Cassidy pointed to give the Academy a four point advantage at the short whistle.
St Patricks began the second half brightly and almost immediately set up the chance of a second goal. Ben Cullen’s shot was parried away before Finn Spence punched the rebound towards goals only to see his effort rebound off the post.
Once again the Monaghan school tried to engineer the goal they needed but the Academy rear guard stood firm. Firstly Conan McGarvey denied Tommy Mallen with a sharp save and minutes later Ethan Ballantine’s goal bound effort was stopped on the line by the alert Michael Carty.
Quick fire scores from Cassidy and a third point from Finn Spence began to take the game away from St Macartans. The game was ended as a contest in 41st minute Matthew Quinn who put in a trojan effort throughout passed to Ronan Cassidy who finished to the net.
Cassidy and McManus exchanged a brace of points each with Dungannon comfortably containing the Monaghan threat with Luke Neeson having a great hour handling dangerman Mallen. As the game entered its final 5 minutes Ronan Cassidy brought his personal tally to 2-7 with a well taken point. Luke McManus kicked his sixth point for the hosts. Harvey Colleran and Sean Og McElwain got consolation points for St Macartans in between efforts from Fiacra Nelis and Darragh McGrath.
The result means the three Tyrone schools will contest the MacRory Cup semi finals. This includes a mouth watering East Tyrone derby as the Academy will face Holy Trinity in Carrickmore next Saturday morning, The other semi sees Omagh CBS take on Patrician High Carrickmacross at 2 pm in Monaghan.