GAA Football

St Colman's, Newry the only previous winners in MacRory semi shake-up

After their quarter-final victory over Patrician, Carrickmacross, St Ronan's of Lurgan are one of three MacRory semi-finalists to never have won Ulster's premier schools' title
By Séamas McAleenan

FOLLOWING St Ronan’s, Lurgan’s 1-11 to 0-8 win over Patrician High Carrickmacross on Wednesday evening in the Athletic Grounds, the remaining piece of the Danske Bank MacRory Cup semi-final jigsaw is in place and yesterday Ulster Schools’ secretary Seamus Woods issued fixtures for the remainder of the senior competitions.

The first of the Danske Bank MacRory Cup semi-finals between St Mary’s, Magherafelt and last year’s beaten finalists St Paul’s, Bessbrook will take place at Queen’s Arena on Wednesday February 22 with a 7.30pm throw-in.

The second, with St Ronan’s facing record 19-times champions St Colman’s, Newry will go ahead the following evening (Thursday February 23) in the Athletic Grounds in Armagh at 7.30pm.

Incidentally, St Colman’s are the only previous winners of the MacRory Cup left in the competition and the odds seem to be in favour of a new name going on the trophy for the first time since St Patrick’s Academy, Dungannon made the breakthrough in 1991.

Meanwhile, the first of the Danske Bank MacLarnon Cup semi-finals –St Louis Ballymena v St Ciaran’s Ballygawley – will also take place on Thursday February 23, although a venue has yet to be confirmed.

The other MacLarnon Cup semi-final – St Pius X, Magherafelt v Our Lady’s, Castleblayney, is set for Galbally next Saturday with a midday throw-in.

Meanwhile, the Danske Bank Markey Cup competition is already at the final stage and it is an all-Donegal affair between close neighbours Coláiste na Carraige, Carrick and Coláiste Cholmcille, Ballyshannon. A suitable venue and date for this is still being sought.

The last football competition to move on to an All-Ireland stage next month is the Danske Bank O’Doherty Cup and it is on schedule to be completed next weekend.

On Tuesday last, Chrissy McKaigue guided St Mary’s, Limavady through to a single point semi-final win over Magh Ene College Bundoran.

The second semi-final, between St Mary’s, Clady and Aquinas Grammar, has been delayed until next Tuesday (1.30pm in Newbridge).

The final will then go ahead on Friday February 24, with Owenbeg a likely venue should the two Derry schools be involved, while a south Derry / southwest Antrim venue will be sought should Aquinas Grammar make it through to face Limavady.

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GAA Football