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St Patrick's out to use Cup joy as springboard

By John Campbell

Less than a week after winning the Dankse Bank MacRory Cup, St Patrick's College, Maghera will be in action again tomorrow when they meet Summerhill College, Sligo in the semi-final of the Hogan Cup (All-Ireland Colleges) at Brewster Park, Enniskillen (2pm).

It's a quick return to action for the south Derry school who beat St Paul's HS, Bessbrook in the St Patrick's Day MacRory decider.

Coach Paul Hughes, though, is adamant that his team will be up for the challenge against a Summerhill side that overcame St Jarlath's Tuam and Roscommon CBS on their way to becoming the kings of Connacht.

"You never get tired of winning the MacRory Cup," stated Hughes. "The fact that we have only had a matter of days in which to prepare for this match is not a major concern.

"We have been slow starters but we could not believe the start we got against St Paul's. We asked the players for intensity from the throw-in and we are hoping they will replicate this."

The Maghera seat of learning has long been regarded as one of Ulster's most prominent GAA nurseries and the current crop of players are proving worthy successors to the many legendary figures who preceded them.

Hughes is hopeful that players such as Conor Glass, the Kearneys, Francis and Patrick, Jack Doherty, Shane McGuigan and Shea Downey will again step up.

McGuigan landed 2-4 against St Paul's, Glass controlled the midfield sector and Downey marshalled the defence.

Hughes added: "Winning the MacRory Cup further strengthens the bond that is among the players and indeed our school."

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