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St Mary's blitz neighbours to earn final spot

By John Campbell

It's not often that the start of a colleges' game has to be delayed because of unprecedented pressure at the turnstiles but that's precisely what happened when holders St Mary's, Magherafelt confronted their neighbours from down the road St Patrick's College, Maghera in yesterday's riveting MacRory Cup semi-final at Bellaghy.

And for those who thrive on seeing the ball hitting the back of the net - particularly if they were wearing Magherafelt colours - that was certainly the place to be.

A six-goal blitz not only saw Magherafelt claim considerable local bragging rights in a convincing 6-7 to 1-13 victory but contrived to nose them into the role of favourites once again for the trophy when they meet St Ronan's College, Lurgan in the decider.

St Mary's did not so much hit the ground running as produce a jet-propelled start that saw them streak into 3-2 to 0-5 lead.

Dan Bradley, Tiernan McAteer and Liam Quinn landed the goals and when their well-taken goals were followed by triple strikes from Cormac Murphy, Simon McErlain and Tiernan Donaghy, the Magherafelt side had moved into overdrive.

Alex Doherty managed to plunder St Patrick's solitary goal.

Now St Mary's must focus on meeting a St Ronan's side that just managed to pip St Patrick's GS, Armagh side in the other semi-final (2-11 to 1-13).

The St Patrick's management trio of Mark Harte, John Devine and Sean O'Kane had reason for thinking that a final place was beckoning but Eoin McConville's last-gasp goal proved decisive.

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