GAA Football

Holy Trinity edge gripping Tyrone derby against Dungannon to return to MacRory Cup decider

Jack Martin of Holy Trinity, Cookstown has a shot during his side's MacRory Cup semi-final against St Patrick's, Dungannon Picture: Oliver McVeigh
Kevin Kelly

Danske Bank MacRory Cup semi-final: Holy Trinity, Cookstown 1-10 St Patrick's Academy, Dungannon 1-9

Holy Trinity Cookstown made it through to bac- to back Danske Bank MacRory Cup Finals when they won a gripping encounter with Tyrone neighbours St.Patricks Academy Dungannon at Carrickmore on Saturday afternoon.

It was a contest that swayed one way and then the other and just when it appeared that we were heading to extra-time up popped Ryan Quinn with the priceless winner two minutes into injury time.

Both sides gave it their all throughout in front of a bumper crowd with the Dungannon lads making all the early running with team captain Ronan Cassidy landing four points as they led 0-5 to 0-1 at the end of the opening quarter.

They could well have been further in front but for a superb save from Holy Trinity keeper Ruairi Dillion to deny Finn Spence a goal. From there until the start of the final quarter it was all Holy Trinity as they outscored their opponents 1-8 to 0-1.

Hugh J Cunningham, Jack Martin and Shea McCann all hit points and a minute after the Academy had lost Liam Traynor to a black card Karol McGuigan bagged an opportunist goal to give his side a 1-4 to 0-5 interval advantage.

Holy Trinity picked up were they had left off on the restart with quality scores from Ryan Nelis, Ruairi McHugh, McCann and Jack Martin with Dungannon’s sole response coming from Cassidy. During that spell though they had keeper Dillion to thank again after thwarting Spence once more.

A 46th minute Ryan Donnelly goal sparked the Academy back to life and in a short period of time they got themselves back on level terms thanks to quality scores from Cassidy and a Sean Hughes brace.

They looked the side now with all the momentum but on a couple of occasions the Holy Trinity defence stood up when tested with Devlin in particular to the fore. It was Devlin who began the move that led to the winning point as he picked out Ardboe clubmate Martin who in turn found Quinn for a clinical finish.

The Academy pushed forward in search of an equaliser but right at the end Shane Hughes performed a superb block to keep their opponents at bay and ensure their place in the decider.

Holy Trinity Cookstown scorers: K McGuigan (1-1), J Martin (0-2), S McCann (0-2), HJ Cunningham (0-1 free), R Nelis (0-1), R McHugh (0-1), C Devlin (0-1), R Quinn (0-1)

St.Patricks Academy Dungannon scorers: R Cassidy (0-6, 0-3 frees), R Donnelly (1-0), S Hughes (0-2), D McGrath (0-1)

Referee: M McNally (Monaghan)