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St Paul’s win thriller

• Danske Bank MacRory Cup Quarter Final

St Paul’s, Bessbrook 2-11 St Colman’s, Newry 1-11

St Paul’s won a thrilling derby Danske Bank MacRory Cup quarter-final with St Coleman’s in Crossmaglen. This was a much closer affair than the 20 points winning margin for the Bessbrook side when the teams met in the MacCormack Cup League section of the competition earlier in the year.

Following their 2-11 to 1-11 win over record 19 times winners of the title, St Colman’s, St Paul’s will face the winners of Wednesday evening’s quarter-final between holders St Patrick’s, Maghera and St Patrick’s, Dungannon in the semi-final.

Playing with the aid of a strong wind the Newry College had built up a 0-4 to 0-1 lead at the end of the first quarter courtesy of three points from Oisin O’Neill on his home pitch. St Paul’s gained control of the game when Mícheál McNamee fired home a 19th minute goal and a brace of points from Mark McCabe helped them into 1-6 to 0-5 lead at the short whistle.

There were two decisive telling moments in the second half which greatly affected the final outcome. Referee Pat McEnaney awarded Bessbrook a penalty which was dispatched to the net by Jodie McGovern to open up a 6 point gap 2-7 to 0-7 lead.

St Colman’s hit back in style as a goal from Joe Morgan in the 46th minute was followed by two converted frees from Oisin O’Neill  to make it a one point game with 6 minutes left on the clock. Pearse óg McCrickard thought he was in for a second Coleman’s goal as he slipped the ball past goalkeeper Michael Murphy only for hero of the hour defender, Declan Loye, to stop and clear his off the line. The wake up call and escape was heeded by Bessbrook who re-grouped to tag on the last two points of the game from Aaron Boyle and Mícheál McNamee to book their place in the semi-final.

St Paul’s : M Murphy, C McGuinness, C Boylan capt., K Mallon, D Loye, R Gaskin (0-1), A Boyle (0-2), C McConville, P Quinn, R McSherry, M McCabe (0-2), S Hoey, M McNamee (1-2), J óg Burns (0-1), J McGovern (1-3)

Subs : S Conlon for S Hoey (bc), F O’Rourke for A Boyle, S Loye for P Quinn

St Colman’s : J Heaney, R McGreevey, O Donnelly, C Gordon, N Murray, M Harte, R Garvey, F Aiken, C Carr, J French, O O’Neill (0-7,) P óg McCrickard (0-1), R O’Neill (0-1), S McConville (0-2), J Morgan (1-0).

Subs : J Sands for J French, S Leneghan for J Morgan, J Morgan for R McGreevey.

Referee : Pat McEnaney (Monaghan).