Kearney goal takes Maghera to MacRory semi

February 18, 2020

Danske Bank MacRory Cup quarter-final
St Patrick’s Maghera 1-6 Holy Trinity Cookstown 0-7

IN A game that was always going to be low-scoring mistakes were as likely to prove crucial as scores and the key moment came in the 38th minute when Enda Downey brilliantly swooped to block a Cookstown attempt at a point.

The Lavey man held possession to release his captain Ethan Doherty who carried 40 metres before picking out an excellent cross field pass that left Sean Kearney one-on-one with Shea Lawn and Kearney tucked his shot into the corner.

Kearney was excellent up front for the Derry side, top-scoring but always available for the pass inside and occasionally getting back to his own 20 metre line to get in a telling tackle.

It was a cagey possession game from the throw in with Holy Trinity getting 14 players behind the ball in the first half and forcing Maghera to go from side to side waiting for someone to come off the shoulder to create the opening.

At the other end Cookstown preferred to solo the ball through. That worked for Patrick Quinn to create the space for Shea Quinn to open the scoring after three minutes.

But Kearney from a free and then from play edged Maghera ahead and Lee Brady made it 0-3 to 0-1 after 16 minutes.

Four minutes later Niall Devlin popped over a fine score fo Holy Trinity and that completed the scoring in the opening half.

Shea Quinn levelled on the resumption before the Maghera goal which drew a good response from HTC, an immediate point for Callan Devlin and then a free from Mark Devlin.

Kearney replied at the other end and then there was a scare when Sean O’Neill got on the end of a good Maghera move down the right but his shot came off the base of the post.

The industrious PJ McAleese opened the gap to three once more. Devlin from a free closed it again only for Matthew Downey to find the gap at the other end and make it 1-6 to 0-6.

Devlin again pointed from a free but time ran out on Cookstown and it is Maghera who will go through to next week’s semi-final with St Patrick’s Academy.

St Patrick’s Maghera : Z Scullion, P McLoughlin, A McGuckin, PJ McAleese (0-1), L Brady (0-1), R McFaul, J McGurk, S McKenna, T Higgins, J Duggan, E Doherty, M Downey (0-1), S Kearney (1-3, 0-2 frees), E Downey, S O’Neill.
Subs : S Cassidy for S O’Neill (60)

Holy Trinity Cookstown: S Lawn, J Hamilton, C Mulgrew, C Devlin (0-1), N Connolly, P Quinn, N Devlin (0-1), T Quinn, A O’Loughlin, O Mulgrew, S Quinn (0-1) M Devlin (0-3 frees), R Campbell, P McClure, B Ryan.
Subs: P Connolly for P McClure (49), T Doris for A O’Loughlin (56)

Referee : Paul Faloon (Down)