St Patrick’s reach semis with controlled performance

February 12, 2018

Danske Bank MacRory Cup quarter-final
St Patrick’s Armagh 1-10 St Paul’s Bessbrook 0-6
They were the surprise packets in the last round when they ousted St Colman’s Newry and at the Athletic Grounds last night in front of a paying crowd of 913, St Patrick’s Armagh took control in the wind-assisted opening half to comfortably claim a semi-final spot in the Danske Bank MacRory Cup.
St Paul’s Bessbrook on the night couldn’t get to grips with the game and went 45 minutes without a score after Ryan Connolly had equalled Michael Conroy’s early point. By the time Ryan Hughes lobbed over from 35 metres in the 48th minute, St Patrick’s were 0-8 to 0-2 ahead and had one foot in the next round.
But the strong breeze meant that both sides were wayward in their shooting throughout although there were some good long-range scores into the Cathedral end. Armagh had that advantage in the opening half and made it pay stacking up a 0-8 to 0-1 lead with three each for Conroy and Justin Kieran and two for excellent midfielder Michael McGleenan
The Eglish player was in brilliant form throughout, with his link up play after the break central to Armagh continuing to controlling the play.
The teams went scoreless for the duration of the third quarter. Bessbrook desperately needed a goal to lift their challenge but couldn’t find a way through and then Odhrán Kieran picked up a 43rd minute second yellow card for a careless tackle. If the result was ever in doubt, the red card shut the door emphatically.
Despite that set-back Bessbrook hit five lovely scores in the final quarter with Ryan Hughes re-starting the scoring in the 48th minute. From the kick-out however St Patrick’s worked an excellent close-passing move through the centre and when Conroy gained possession 20 metres out he lashed it low to the left of Luke Reynolds for the only goal of the game.
They were only to add two further points, Conroy bringing his personal tally to 1-4 and substitute Ben Toal putting in a shout for starting jersey while Connolly, Seamus Loughran, sub Padraig Wilson and Jack Cunningham added late scores for Bessbrook.
St Patrick’s : J Gibney, T Sheridan, C Byrne, O McKeagney, G Kelly, D Rafferty, D Murphy, M McGleenan 0-2, C Smyth, D Horsfield, M Conroy 1-4, 0-2 free, J McCoy, S Muldoon, J Kieran 0-3, 0-2 frees, C Hicks
Subs : B Toal 0-1 for D Murphy (41), O Hughes for D Horsfield (55), T Weir for G Kelly (57), O Campbell for S Muldoon (59), B McArdle for J McCoy (61).St Paul’s ; L Reynolds, C Magennis, J Quinn, S McGenity, O King, O Kieran, R Short, S Trainor, J Cunningham 0-1, T O’Hagan, R Connolly 0-2, N Magennis, A Davidson, S Loughran 0-1 free, R Hughes 0-1.
Subs : J Cosgrove for T O’Hagan (36), E Woods for S Trainor (39), P Wilson 0-1 for A Davidson (39).