Tight tussle expected between Abbey CBS and St Macartan's, Monaghan

Danske Bank MacRory Cup: Abbey CBS v St Macartan’s, Monaghan (Wednesday, Silverbridge, 2pm) 

THERE was an unexpectedly easy win for Abbey CBS, Newry in their opening Danske Bank MacRory Cup game last Friday against St Patrick’s Academy, Dungannon and that has undoubtedly raised the team’s ambitions for the campaign ahead.

Their opponents last Friday were not exactly rated in MacRory Cup terms this season - but Wednesday's are. St Macartan’s won the Danske Bank Rannafast Cup this time two seasons ago and then reached last season’s final as well. Throw in a first ever Corn na nÓg title last November and it is easy to come to the conclusion that they seem to have a good flow of players from county development squads in the school at the minute.

However it’s over six decades since their last MacRory win, but expectation has risen recently that this season’s squad can bridge the gap. It would therefore seem logical that an emerging team would need an early confirmation of their credentials - a win in their opening game. But that won’t be easy now after Abbey’s 3-16 to 0-5 win over the Academy in which Conor Fox, Blain McGrath and Shane Smyth galvanised a good team performance.

Cold water will be thrown on the losers’ ambitions on Wednesday. Perhaps a draw will be the outcome.