Omagh CBS v St Patrick's, Armagh in bid for final MacRory Cup places
Danske Bank MacRory Cup quarter-finals
Today at 2.30 in Fintona: Omagh CBS v St Patrick’s, Armagh
Wednesday Feb 19 at 1pm in the Dub: St Colman’s, Newry v St Eunan’s, Letterkenny
LATER this evening we could be looking forward to a re-fixture of the Danske Bank MacCormack Cup final.
Going into that final St Colman’s, Newry were being strongly tipped as the team to beat in this year’s MacRory Cup.
But after suffering a heavy defeat to Omagh CBS, many have revised that assessment.
A narrow defeat might not have registered as the Newry school traditionally has not paid a lot of attention to the MacCormack Cup competition, but when they lost by 2-13 to 0-5 many felt that it will take a huge performance to get their MacRory ambitions back on track.
It is difficult to say what went wrong against Omagh as they were more or less at full strength, but their speedy forwards, Crimmins, Gilmore, McCarthy and Clancy, all struggled against Omagh’s defence while their own defence didn’t look as assured as they had been against group opponents.
St Eunan’s, Letterkenny came through a difficult game in Termon a fortnight ago against Patrician, Carrickmacross.
Maghera were beaten by the Letterkenny side in a group game and again the victory was built on extra players in defence for St Eunan’s with the quick break delivering the scores.
With Shane Monaghan and Shane O’Donnell up front it is a tactic that has worked well for them.
Their defeat to St Patrick’s, Cavan in November occurred when O’Donnell came on as a sub as he was still getting back to full fitness following injury.
It has to be noted that the other three teams in St Colman’s group have all bitten the dust in that last round, while three of the four in St Eunan’s group were still standing this week.
St Colman’s would be fancied to survive the test from St Eunan’s as they have had a fair track record through the under-age A grade competitions while Letterkenny were contesting B grade finals.
However their failure to break Omagh’s defensive formation indicates that the Newry for-wards are still on a learning curve.
This will probably be another game where breaking the de-fensive barrier will be difficult and O’Donnell provides as dangerous an outlet for scores as Fullerton did for Omagh.
Omagh’s quarter-final against St Patrick’s, Armagh seems to be in an on-going battle with the weather.
Today will be the third attempt to run the fixture with the west Tyrone side tipped to extend their unbeaten run this year.
Coming in under the radar will suit Armagh and they had a good qualification victory in Páirc Esler over Abbey CBS a fortnight ago.
They might make it difficult for Omagh, but it is hard to see there not being a re-run of the MacCormack Cup final next week.