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St Ronan's leave it late to stay on course for first MacRory Cup


Knockout blow: Mattie McGleenan’s St Patrick’s lost
Knockout blow: Mattie McGleenan’s St Patrick’s lost
John Campbell

By John Campbell

St Ronan's College, Lurgan may still be considered newcomers to the MacRory Cup but they are certainly making their presence felt in the competition.

Last night they squeezed out St Patrick's GS, Armagh in a keenly-contested semi-final at the Athletic Grounds by 2-11 to 1-13.

It was in the closing minutes that a goal from Ruairi McConville projected St Ronan's into a lead which was to prove their passport into the decider.

McConville had earlier pocketed seven points for the winners while the outstanding Michael Conroy played a big part in keeping St Patrick's in contention by landing 1-5.

Oisin Smyth and Adam Loughran were also to the fore for St Ronan's.

The sides were deadlocked on three occasions in the second half and St Patrick's looked as if they might get over the line when they led by 1-12 to 1-11.

But St Ronan's late, late goal was to prove decisive and it offers them the chance of collecting the blue riband of Ulster colleges football for the first time in their short history.

For St Patrick's coach Mattie McGleenan it was the first of two assignments over this weekend as tomorrow he will take charge of his Cavan side that will meet Cork in an important Allianz League Division Two fixture.

In the other MacRory Cup semi tomorrow, holders St Mary's GS, Magherafelt will meet their neighbours St Patrick's College, Maghera at Bellaghy (2.30pm).

St Mary's looked impressive in overcoming Omagh CBS by 4-9 to 1-3 at the quarter-final stage and in Simon McErlain, Giuseppe Lupari and Cormac Murphy they have players who are capable of setting the tone for their performance.

Their Maghera neighbours turned on the style in overcoming St Michael's Enniskillen by 1-15 to 1-7 in their quarter-final.

The McWilliams brothers Lorcan and Oisin, both of whom played for Derry minors last year, help to dictate the St Patrick's team strategy.

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