St Macartan's must face down in-form St Mary's, Magherafelt to advance
Danske Bank MacRory Cup Round 2 play-off: Wednesday 12.30pm in Clones: St Macartan's, Monaghan v St Mary's, Magherafelt
ST MARY'S, Magherafelt provided the biggest shock in the Round One Eliminators when they went to Kingspan Breffni Park and defeated St Patrick's, Cavan, one of the fancied MacRory teams this year after lifting the Danske Bank Rannafast Cup two seasons ago.
There was a lot of mistakes from both sides and the Convent ran up a wides total of 15 over the 70 minutes, so there was plenty to improve upon in the past ten days.
It was nevertheless a big scalp for St Mary's who used just three of the team that reached the Rannafast final in November and didn't feature in the pre-Christmas rounds of the competition; Eoin McEvoy and Conhuir Johnston started while Ryan McEldowney came in as a substitute.
St Macartan's are, in many ways an unknown quantity.
They were drawn in the group with Inis Eoghain and Cathair Dhoire, both of whom were overwhelmed in the group stages and are now out of the competition.
In the other group game they drew with St Patrick's Academy, who incidentally will be the quarter-final opponents for the winners today.
Eoin McGinnity, Lochlainn Power and Niall McKenna will always get in for a few scores somewhere along the line, but might find it a little more difficult against the Convent if the Derry side set up as they did in Breffni Park.
St Mary's did very well to win in Breffni. They now have to go to Clones and a second win would be a big ask.
But they have played tougher games than the Sem and that could stand to them as they come down the home straight.
Danske Bank MacRory Cup Round 2 play-offs
Sat Feb 1: 2pm in O'Donnell Park, Letterkenny: St Eunan's, Letterkenny v Patrician, Carrickmacross
Sat Feb 1: 2pm in Derrygonnelly: St Michael's, Enniskillen v Holy Trinity, Cookstown
Tues Feb 4: 1pm in Páirc Esler: St Patrick's, Armagh v Abbey CBS