GAA Football

Patrician on the spot as holders Magherafelt dumped out of MacRory Cup

James Murray of St Mary's, Magherafelt in action against Niall Meehan and Packie Doogan of Patrician College, Carrickmacrossin the MacRory Cup quarter-final at Ballinderry Picture: Oliver McVeigh.
Séamas McAleenan

Danske Bank MacRory Cup quarter-final: Patrician High Carrickmacross 2-5 St Mary's Magherafelt 1-7 (AET)

A PENALTY goal from James Maguire was all that Patrician High, Carrickmacross scored in an extra-time thriller in Ballinderry, but it was enough to take last year's MacLarnon Cup champions to victory over the MacRory Cup holders St Mary's, Magherafelt on Saturday afternoon.

Their reward is a semi-final at the end of the month against last season's beaten finalists Omagh CBS, while Holy Trinity Cookstown will face the winners from Wednesday afternoon's tie in Monaghan Harps between St Macartan's and St Patrick's Academy Dungannon.

With a very stiff wind blowing down the pitch, Patrician set up ultra-defensively for the first half and would have been content enough turning around at half-time five points to one down with goalie Oran Finnegan bringing off a couple of good saves and safe under the high ball.

Daragh Mee put in a good shift at midfield, while Finn Carolan and Kian Duffy were also prominent in a compact team performance.

St Mary's goalie James Gribbin and full-back James Murray along with Eamon Young and James Sargeant played well, but their key forwards, Niall O'Donnell, Conhuir Johnstone and free-taker Joshua Cassidy, were well boxed in, shooting chances at a premium.

Cassidy lofted over three of the Convent's five first half points, with Conall Higgins and O'Donnell claiming the others while Duffy's free midway through the first half was Patrician's only score.

That changed immediately after the break when Matthew Carolan fired to the net and Duffy quickly added a point – teams level and advantage probably with Carrick as they had the breeze behind them.

Magherafelt weathered the storm and just before the midway point of the second half, Higgins careered through the middle, played a couple of one-twos and crashed home a goal for the holders.

Fifteen minutes proved too long for them to hold out, however, and Duffy reduced the lead before popping over an injury time pressure free to force extra-time.

Patrician picked up a black card before the end and for the first six minutes of extra time were without Declan Lynch. When Lynch came back on his side was two points down with Joshua Cassidy on target.

However after the break, Kian Duffy was pulled down for a penalty and James Maguire kept his cool to slot the spot-kick to the net.

Eight more minutes remained. Patrician though held their discipline while a misplaced hand-pass here and there let down some good Magherafelt approach work and an equaliser couldn't be found.

Patrician: O Finnegan; C Tobin, N Meehan, P Farrelly; D Martin, P Doogan, D Lynch; C McMahon; D Mee; F Carolan, K Duffy (0-5, 0-4 frees), M Carolan (1-0); J Maguire (1-0 pen), D Honney, C Murray.

Subs: C Jones for J Maguire, C Burns for D Honney, E Farrelly for M Carolan, T Quinn for C Tobin, D McNally for C McMahon

St Mary's: J Gribbin; L Grant, J Murray, E Young; J Lavery, P Duffin, B McLarnon; Conall Higgins (1-1), J Sargeant; R Mawhinney, N O'Donnell (0-1), L Diamond; R Drain, J Cassidy (0-5, 0-4 frees), C Johnstone.

Subs: R Small for R Mawhinney, Caolan Higgins for R Drain, F McNicholl for B McLarnon, P Birt for L Grant, S Byrne for L Diamond, C Curley for J Cassidy.

Referee: K Ennetta (Tyrone)