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McConville demanding better from Maghery in the last four

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Getting to grips: Maghery’s Aidan Forker and Brian O’Connell of Ramor United do battle in the Ulster Club Championship quarter-final

Getting to grips: Maghery’s Aidan Forker and Brian O’Connell of Ramor United do battle in the Ulster Club Championship quarter-final

©INPHO/Presseye/Philip Magowan

Getting to grips: Maghery’s Aidan Forker and Brian O’Connell of Ramor United do battle in the Ulster Club Championship quarter-final

Their sudden, unexpected elevation to the Ulster Club Championship has now provided Maghery with a coveted place in the semi-finals - but don't expect to see manager Shane McConville performing cartwheels following his team's nerve-tingling win over Cavan rookies Ramor United at the Athletic Grounds, Armagh yesterday.

This was not a decisive step forward, more a chastening experience in the eyes of McConville and he certainly did not pull his punches in assessing what he considered to be an extremely below-par performance from his side.

"When all is said and done, these players are going to have to learn how to play in this competition," rapped McConville.

"We were forced into making changes as the game progressed but that's what happens when people don't do their job.

"I'm not going to use the word hiding but you can't go out and half do your job at this level. We were found out badly here and we will have to improve the next day."

McConville's words will certainly resonate within a squad all too acutely aware that more experienced, streetwise and technically efficient sides now form a massive barrier to provincial glory. And their next opponents, Kilcoo, certainly tick all those boxes.

Despite the almost total midfield dominance of skipper James Lavery and gangling teenager Ben Crealey, Maghery's lack of invention and penchant for over-carrying in attack severely disrupted their rhythm.

Yet they looked as if they were about to stamp their authority on the contest when Aidan Forker fisted in a 10th-minute goal after the Ramor defence had failed to deal with a searching delivery.

But Ramor are nothing if not resilient and within a minute they were back on level terms at 1-1 each when James Brady stole in to tuck a neat shot past Maghery goalkeeper Johnny Montgomery.

That was the signal for the visitors to unveil a much more cohesive, confident approach that was to elicit points from Cathal Maguire, James Bradley and Jack Doyle.

The hosts were being forced onto the back foot.

An Aidan Forker point helped to sustain Maghery's challenge before Doyle - with his second score - eased Ramor into a 1-5 to 1-2 interval lead.

But that was as good as it got for the Cavan side.

They enjoyed parity of esteem on three occasions in the second half but in the closing stages the stunning finishing of the deadly Stefan and Seamus Forker ultimately killed off Ramor's bid to salvage the game.

Their cause was not helped by the black cards dished out to two of their best forwards - Adrian Cole and Conor Bradley - nor by their inability to curb Maghery's ball-winning capacity around the middle third of the park.

Yet manager McConville's 'must do better' report will certainly form the basis of Maghery's semi-final preparatory programme.

Maghery: J Montgomery; E Scullion, O Lappin, G Campbell; D Lavery, C Higgins, N Forker 0-1; James Lavery 0-1, B Crealey; S Fox, C Mackle, S Forker 0-6 (3f); R Lappin, A Forker 1-1 (1f). S Cusack 0-1. Subs: S Tennyson for R Lappin (12), P Forker for Mackle (36), Seamus Forker 0-3 for Fox (36), Jack Lavery for A Forker (38).

Ramor United: L Brady; M Magee, A O'Connell, J McEnroe; M McGee, B O'Connell, E Somerville; S Monaghan, S Cadden; C Maguire 0-1, C Bradley 0-4 (2f), James Bradley 0-1; James Brady 1-0, A Cole, K Mulvany 0-1. Subs: J Doyle 0-3 for Cole (BC 6 mins), G McNamee for Cathal Maguire (43), Killian Maguire for O'Connell (46), S Cole C Bradley (BC 56).

Referee: Niall Cullen (Fermanagh)

Belfast Telegraph