Ballycastle and St Mary's look to have McNamee Cup semi-final appeal

Séamas McAleenan

Danske Bank MacNamee Cup quarter-finals

Tuesday 1.30pm in Ballymena: St Patrick’s, Maghera v Cross and Passion, Ballycastle

Wednesday 1.30pm in St Enda’s: St Louis, Ballymena v St Mary’s, CBGS Belfast

RUNNING alongside the Danske Bank Mageean Cup quarter-final on an adjoining pitch in Ballymena today (TUESDAY) St Patrick’s Maghera will contest a Danske Bank MacNamee Cup quarter-final with Cross and Passion Ballycastle (2pm).

Ballycastle will look to their players from Loughgiel’s Féile winning squad, Ronan McLaughlin, Ben McGarry and Tiago McGarry augmented by Ballycastle’s Gavin McToal, Cathair Donnelly and Dara Kelly and Dunloy duo Ben O’Kane and Eoghan Richmond.

A quick glance at the Maghera line-out and familiar hurling surnames of the past appear, Conor Downey son of Henry, Lorcan Collins son of Mickey and Senan Lockhart son of Sean Marty.

Up front the key players so far for the Derry school have been Slaughtneil free-taker Conor Coyle and Ballinascreen's Danny McDermot.

Neither team was at full strength for some of their group games. However the team that emerges from this quarter-final could keep improving.

Perhaps Ballycastle has the greater capacity for the latter stages.

The last of the quarter-finals are tomorrow (WEDNESDAY) with a 1.30pm throw-in at St Enda’s Glengormley between St Louis Ballymena and St Mary’s CBGS Belfast.

St Mary’s beat Maghera last Thursday in the last of the group games by 2-5 to 0-4 with their three Davitt’s defenders Conor Corr, Odhran Cosgrove and Caoimhin Rainey in great form.

They were well supported by Cormac Austin and Michael Marlow, Dara Cunningham, Michael Darragh, and Niall May.

St Louis had a tough round of fixtures in their section but defenders Luke McFerran and Hugh O’Donnell as well as midfielder Jack McCloskey have all performed well.

The recent win over Maghera will have helped St Mary’s and they should make the semi-finals where Our Lady’s and St Patrick’s Knock and holders St Killian’s Garron Tower await the outcome of both games.

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