Shea McGarrity captained Tyrone to this year’s Ulster and All Ireland Minor football crowns — and now he could be in line to take delivery of another trophy.
McGarrity is the defensive anchor in a St Patrick’s Academy, Dungannon side that is unbeaten in Section A of the Ulster Colleges MacRory Cup and he will lead the side against arch-rivals St Patrick’s GS in the quarter-finals on the weekend of February 10-11.
Along with Harry Og Conlon, Dwayne Quinn and Liam Gervin, McGarrity helps bring a considerable helping of skill and maturity to the Academy side which landed the MacRory trophy in 2004, 2008 and 2009.
Their attempts to record a fourth triumph this millennium, the Academy will not only face tough opposition from St Patrick’s GS Armagh, but should they progress, then current holders St Colman’s Newry and strongly-fancied St Michael’s College Enniskillen will block their path.
St Colman’s will meet the winners of the re-scheduled St Michael’s Lurgan v Abbey CBS qualifier-tie which had to be abandoned last week because of snow.
St Colman’s still boast over half of last year’s side in their current line-up including Caolan Mooney, the Johnston brothers Jerome and Ryan and Armagh Minor goalkeeper Paddy McNeice.
St Michael’s Enniskillen won the McCormack Cup, but coach Dominic Corrigan, the former Fermanagh manager, is after the much bigger prize.
His son Ruairi has been distinguishing himself at full-forward in the St Michael’s side while Richard Donnelly and Sean Courtney are other key players whose skills will be required against St Macartan’s College Monaghan in the first of the quarter-finals on Saturday February 5.
In the remaining quarter-final Omagh CBS, who have lost in the last two finals, must negotiate the threat that a lively St Mary’s GS Magherafelt will offer.
McLarnon Cup quarter-finals are: St Patrick’s Downpatrick or Patrician HS, Carrickmore v Rathmore, Belfast or La Salle, Belfast; St Patrick’s Keady or Our Lady’s HS, Castleblayney v St Pius Magherfelt or Colaiste Colmcille, Ballyshannon; St Eunan’s Letterkenny or St Louis Kilkeel v St Mary’s CBS Belfast or St Louis Ballymena; Our Lady and St Patrick’s College, Knock v St Paul’s, Bessbrook or St Columb’s, Derry.