St Patrick's, Maghera and Omagh CBS first up in Rannafast Cup quarter-finals
THIS is quarter-final week for the Danske Bank Rannafast Cup, with the winners of the past two seasons - Patrician High, Carrickmacross and St Macartan’s, Monaghan - already out of contention.
Carrick opted for the Rafferty Cup this season, while Monaghan lost their opening three games in Group B. The first quarter-final up is on Tuesday afternoon, when St Patrick’s, Maghera take on Omagh CBS in Stewartstown.
Maghera topped their group quite comfortably, scoring six times in three of their four games and hitting 4-13 in the other one against St Patrick’s Academy, Dungannon. Their opponents, the other Tyrone side in the competition, had to come through a play-off with Scoileanna Inis Eoghain after finishing third in their section.
St Colman’s, Newry topped Omagh’s group and were also hitting opponents for six along the way. They take on St Michael’s Enniskillen who did show some spirit in scoring 4-7 against Maghera in their final league match.
Both Maghera and St Colman’s should make it through to the semi-finals, where Group B winners Abbey would expect to join them. However, their opponents St Patrick’s, Cavan only lost by a couple of points to St Colman’s in the key game in Group C and scored seven goals against Downpatrick. This Cavan team won the Corn na nÓg title two seasons ago and narrowly lost the Brock Cup final last spring to the Academy. So they could well beat Abbey.
In the final game, St Patrick’s Academy take on surprise qualifiers St Eunan’s, Letterkenny. The Academy were in the same group as Maghera and Enniskillen, but did not show up at all in the Maghera game, losing by 4-13 to 1-8. They recovered to make it through to the quarters and should be able to take the next step and eliminate Letterkenny.
It’s also quarter-final week in the Danske Bank Rafferty Cup, and two teams that have dropped down from the A competition this season - Patrician High and St Patrick’s, Armagh - are expected to make the semi-finals.
Armagh, though, will have to wait the result from a play-off involving St Joseph’s, Crossmaglen and Our Lady’s, Castleblayney and that might mean a delay until the start of next week.
St Malachy’s, Castlewellan are a team really going well and they stand a good chance of beating St Patrick’s, while there should be a real derby battle between two other Armagh schools - St Ronan’s, Lurgan and St Paul’s, Bessbrook - for the last spot.
Danske Bank Rannafast Cup quarter-finals: St Patrick’s, Maghera v Omagh CBS; Abbey CBS v St Patrick’s, Cavan; St Colman’s, Newry v St Michael’s, Enniskillen; St Patrick’s Academy, Dungannon v St Eunan’s, Letterkenny
Danske Bank Rafferty Cup quarter-finals: St Patrick’s, Armagh v St Joseph’s, Crossmaglen/Our Lady’s, Castleblayney; St Malachy’s, Castlewellan v St Patrick’s, Keady; Patrician High, Carrickmacross v Virginia College; St Paul’s, Bessbrook v St Ronan’s, Lurgan