Could St Patrick’s Day be St Paul’s Day…?

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The team from St Paul’s High School that defeated St Macartan’s College, Monaghan in the Semi-final of the Danske Bank Ulster Colleges MacRory Cup. 

St Paul’s one again created history as they defeated St Macartan’s College, Monaghan by nine points to reach the Danske Bank Ulster Colleges MacRory Cup Final in their first year in the ‘A’ competition.

Played at the Athletic Grounds, Armagh, St Paul’s came out of the traps flying and scored in the first minute of play with a free that was comfortably slotted over the bar by Eoghan Burns.

St Paul’s then began to dominate, with captain Ciaron O’Hanlon kicking two points with his left and one with his right as well as Eoghan Burns getting his second of the match to put St Paul’s five points to the good in the opening ten minutes.

It didn’t stop there either, as midfielder Blaine Malone got his name on the scoresheet with a long range point and then Connor Nugent showing his soccer skills to take the ball round his marker, before slotting the ball under the St Macartan’s keeper and into the back of the net.

St Macartan’s didn’t know what had hit them and needed to get back into the game quickly. Centre-half back Daniel Nugent made things worse for them by making a bursting run through the middle to receive the ball and he drilled over the bar to put St Paul’s ten points in front with only nineteen minutes played.

St Macartan’s then went up the field and had a penalty shout waved away, but a minute later and they got their penalty and star player Fearghal McMahon nonchalantly rolled the ball into the back of the net, sending the St Paul’s keeper, Sean McDonnell, the wrong way in the process.

This seemed to give St Macartan’s a lift as they dominated the last ten minutes of the first half, kicking three points without reply to leave them trailing by four points at the half time interval.

Half time:   St Paul’s High School, Bessbrook 1-07   St Macartan’s College, Monaghan 1-03

Team coaches, John Rafferty and Martin O’Rourke must have said something at half-time, because the St Paul’s players came out in the second half with a huge hunger for success.

They kicked 1-03 without reply, with points coming from Daniel Nugent, Blaine Malone, Connaire Mackin and a goal from Caolan McCullough who replaced Cormac Toner at half-time.

This put St Paul’s ten points up for the second time in the match, however, St Macartan’s responded with a point of their own to reduce the deficit but Connaire Mackin got his second point of the match to restore the ten point lead.

St Macartan’s then added a point of their own, and St Paul’s were suddenly reduced to fourteen men as wing-half back Conor Boyle received a straight red card for an off the ball incident.

The game was dead and buried at this stage and points from both teams finishing the game off.

Full time:   St Paul’s High School, Bessbrook 2-12   St Macartan’s College, Monaghan 1-06

St Paul’s now await the winners of the other semi-final, which takes place on Saturday 2 March between St Patrick’s, Maghera and close rivals St Colman’s, Newry.

The Danske Bank MacRory Cup Final will take place in the Athletic Grounds, Armagh, on Monday 18 March with throw-in scheduled for 1.15p.m.

See below for highlights from the match:

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 The St Macartan’s, Monaghan team that played St Paul’s, Bessbrook in the Semi-Final of the Danske Bank Ulster Colleges MacRory Cup. 


St Paul’s captain Ciaron O’Hanlon pictured alongside the referee of the semi-final Ciarán Branagan (Down) and St Macartan’s captain Lorcan Smyth. 


Well done lads yous played amazing! last night !! a BIG MASSIVE shout out to the boys in my btec class!! Roll on the Rip after the final! yaayyyyy!

by Ciara Boyle on 28/02/2013 at 11:44 am #

well done lads yous did very well!! cant wait till the final!!

by nicole crilly and danielle mc parland on 28/02/2013 at 2:54 pm #

Well done to St. Paul’s team and mentors a credit to their school and parish proud to be a past pupil looking forward to the final Naomi pol Abu !!!

by Patricia keenan on 28/02/2013 at 10:31 pm #

well done st pauls hope u win the semi final 🙂

by martin ward on 01/03/2013 at 8:54 am #

Well done boys, you played amazing! Bring on the final! YAYYYYYYYYYYYYY

by Olivia O'Hanlon on 01/03/2013 at 2:34 pm #

Well done. Hope you win the final. Good luck.

by Ann Carr on 03/03/2013 at 5:55 pm #

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