St Patrick's gunning for Abbey
St Patrick's Academy Dungannon are hoping to land a three-in-a-row Ulster Colleges MacRory Cup coup.
The Tyrone school has emerged as a major force at this level and have now been pitted against Abbey CBS Newry in the quarter-finals.
Under joint managers Ciaran Gourley, an All Ireland medal winner with Tyrone, and long-serving Peter Herron, the Academy have not only scaled a peak at provincial level by retaining custody of the trophy for the past two years but landed their first Hogan Cup (All Ireland Colleges) crown in 2008.
They now go in against an Abbey side managed by former Antrim boss Jody Gormley who was also at the helm when the Newry school landed the All Ireland accolade in 2006 with current Down player Kevin McKernan, whose father Brendan shared an All Ireland senior success medal in the early 90s, as their captain.
While the Academy have not recaptured their gloss of last season, they may carry too much power up front for their opponents. Nor will Abbey be the only side from Newry in action in the last eight.
St Colman’s College, with ex-Down star Cathal Murray in charge, have hit a rich vein of form recently and will face St Patrick’s GS Armagh.
Ulster Colleges MacRory Cup Quarter-Finals: Omagh CBS v St Patrick’s College Maghera, St Colman’s College Newry v St Patrick’s GS Armagh, St Patrick’s Academy Dungannon v Abbey CBS Newry, St Mary’s GS Magherafelt v St Macartan’s College Monaghan. Matches will be played on weekend of February 5/6.