GAA Football

St Patrick's, Cavan look poised to make it two from two in busy week of MacRory Cup games

Holy Trinity, Cookstown will look the bounce back from defeat to St Patrick's Academy in the first round of MacRory Cup group matches when the take on St Mary’s, Magherafelt tomorrow Picture: Oliver McVeigh.
Séamas McAleenan

Danske Bank Mac Rory Cup

TODAY and tomorrow are jam-packed with action in the Danske Bank MacRory Cup with no fewer than five games on the schedule including two from Group A today.

There is an early throw-in (11am) in Derrylin this morning for the St Patrick’s, Cavan tussle with St Michael’s, Enniskillen.

Cavan recorded a comfortable 2-14 to 1-8 win over St Eunan’s in their first outing a fortnight ago and with Cian Keaney, Cormac Galligan, Cormac Callaghan, Cillian Moran and Ollie McCrystal all playing well they will be confident of picking up a second victory against an Enniskillen side that went down by eight points to Omagh CBS.

St Michael’s had plenty of possession in that game, but couldn’t convert it into scores. They need to spread their base of scorers away from free-taker Conor O’Hanlon if they are to get anything from this game today.

St Eunan’s have Omagh in Glenswilly this afternoon. They too had their spells against Cavan, but didn’t capitalise despite good performances from Eoin Doherty, Daithí Gildea, Bryan Drumm and Gareth Callaghan.

Omagh seem to have assembled another strong squad that will go a distance in the competition with a good range of regular scorers in Ruairí McCullagh, Conor Owens and Eoin McElholm.

They should win and make it a winner-takes-all play-off in Round Three between Enniskillen and Letterkenny to stay in the competition.

The tastiest of tomorrow’s ties is probably at the Fr Rocks club in Cookstown where there is a repeat of last year’s derby final between St Mary’s, Magherafelt and Holy Trinity, Cookstown.

The Convent were impressive in how they dismantled St Patrick’s, Armagh in the first round, despite having to start without Ruairí Forbes and then losing Niall O’Donnell after 10 minutes.

O’Donnell hadn’t trained up until the weekend due to the foot injury he sustained in that game and is unlikely to play. That should give Holy Trinity a lift and they need it.

They were always playing catch-up in their other derby against the Academy a fortnight ago after falling behind by 1-7 to 0-2 after 20 minutes. They managed to close the gap to one point early in the second half, helped by two goals from Michael McElhatton, before eventually losing by three points.

A good start for HTC is a must therefore, but the Convent, even without two of their stars from last year, look to be one of the teams to beat this year.

The other two games are in Group B that produced the only draw so far (St Macartan’s 2-9, Abbey CBS 1-12).

St Macartan’s will have been disappointed that they led by four points with five minutes left in that game against 14 players and didn’t seal the deal. They should be really up for this game though, a Monaghan derby in Corduff (2pm).

Luke McManus and Cormac O’Hanlon scored their goals in that game and they will probably need to be on target again against Carrick who led from the start against St Ronan’s and were good value for their victory.

Last year’s MacLarnon winners will be slight favourites, but anything can happen in a derby.

Abbey should be buoyed up after that comeback against the Sem which was led by the impressive Eoin Loughran, scorer of 1-8.

St Ronan’s were caught out by defensive errors against Carrick but looked OK going forward. Páirc Esler though will suit Abbey CBS.

Danske Bank Mac Rory Cup

Second Round fixtures

Tuesday, November 29

St Michael’s Enniskillen v St Patrick’s Cavan (Derrylin, 11am)

St Eunan’s, Letterkenny v Omagh CBS (Glenswilly, 2pm)

Wednesday, November, 30

Holy Trinity, Cookstown v St Mary’s, Magherafelt (Fr Rock’s Cookstown (TBC), 2pm)

Patrician, Carrickmacross v St Macartan’s Monaghan (Corduff, 2pm)

Abbey CBS v St Ronan’s, Lurgan (Páirc Esler)