Late first half goals take Academy through in MacRory

January 27, 2019

Danske Bank MacRory Cup quarter-final play-off
from Kevin Kelly in O’Donnell Park, Letterkenny
St Patrick’s Academy Dungannon 2-7 St Eunan’s Letterkenny 1-6
Despite scoring only two points in the second half, St Patrick’s Academy Dungannon still made it through to the last eight of the Danske Bank MacRory Cup when they edged past St Eunan’s Letterkenny at O’Donnell Park on Saturday afternoon.
Two goals in as many minutes just before the interval from Ryan McCabe and Shea Daly proved to be the crucial scores as it helped give the Academy an eight point interval advantage and while St Eunan’s battled hard in the second period they had left themselves with too much work to do.
Dungannon were out of the traps quickly and after ‘keeper Lorcan Quinn had stroked over a “45”, McCabe and Ronan McHugh tagged on points from play. It took 13 minutes for the Donegal lads to open their account via Shane O’Donnell before Ciaran Kilfeather and Ronan Duffin exchanged points.
With both defences on top scores were proving difficult to come by but substitute Conor O’Donnell manged to burst through the Academy defence to split the posts and leave only the minimum between the two sides.
The Academy though finished the half strongly to establish a match winning lead. First of all McHugh converted a free before a sweeping move involving Oisin McGee, Daly and McCabe saw the latter fire the ball to the net.
It was just the boost that the winners needed and within 60 seconds they had grabbed another major when Daly got on the end of a high delivery from Tomas McCormack to palm home.
St Eunan’s needed a good start to the second period and they got it after only five minutes when Conor O’Donnell scored a goal and it was very much game on.
Padraig McGettigan and McCormack exchanged points but despite having ample possession St Eunan’s failed to breach the Academy defence again with full back Matthew McCusker to the fore for the winners.
St Eunan’s did close the gap to three points but the Academy refused to panic with McHugh knocking over another placed ball as they held on to book a quarter final date with St Patrick’s Maghera.
St Patrick’s Academy Dungannon: L Quinn (0-1, “45”), C Begley, M McCusker, S McGeary, L Kilpatrick, C Devlin, O McHugh, M O’Neill, R Duffin (0-1), T McCormack (0-1), N Kilpatrick, O McGee, S Daly (1-0), R McHugh (0-3, 2F), R McCabe (1-1, 1F).
Subs: L Donnelly for McCabe (black card), L Conlon for McGeary, S Donnelly for McGee, S McLaughlin for O McHugh, N McMurray for Devlin
St Eunan’s Letterkenny: E Jordan, M Coyle, A Gallagher, J Grant, J Gallagher, K Tobin, K Dunleavy, P McGettigan (0-2, 2F), R Frain, K Kilfeather (0-1), O Cassidy, E Dowling (0-1), O Winston, S O’Donnell (0-1), C Finn.
Subs: C O’Donnell (1-1) for S O’Donnell, S Monaghan for Winston, D Doogan for Tobin
Referee: D Mullin, Derry