St. Ronan's, Lurgan face PS Chorca Dhuibhne in Hogan Cup semi-final
By Damian Lawlor
History will be made on Wednesday in the Masita GAA All Ireland Post Primary Schools Hogan Cup Senior A Football semi-final at Abbottstown.
Newcomers St Ronan's College, Lurgan take on Kerry's PS Chorca Dhuibhne.
Only recently formed, Armagh's St Ronan's claimed a first MacRory Cup title and now face the Kerry giants in a bid for a first Hogan Cup.
In a thrilling finale they defeated holders St Marys Magherafelt in the marquee game of the Ulster colleges football calendar to run out 1-9 to 1-7 winners at the Athletic Grounds in Armagh.
The victors got an early boost when Oisin Smyth netted from the penalty spot but St Marys raised a green flag from a penalty as well in the first half courtesy of Daniel Bradley.
Smyth calmly beat St Marys goalkeeper Odhran Lynch and the same player followed his goal with a point. That four-point start proved vital at the finish and afterwards manager David Wilson reflected on an unforgettable day for the new and highly ambitious - school.
Its fantastic for the school, says former Armagh forward Wilson.
Its a young school and what weve tried to make sure is that these boys set the bar high for the students who are coming after them. Theyve demonstrated to them that hopefully they can go and do the same further down the line.
We had a great start and we had identified that because Magherafelt had started really well in all their games and we identified that as what we wanted to do and were delighted we got it.
St Ronans, formed just three years ago, trailed 1-4 to 1-3 at the break in that game and the teams were level at 1-6 apiece entering the final quarter before St Ronans powered in front thanks to scores from man-of-the-match Rioghan Meehan, who landed three second-half points, and Mark McAfee.
But they face a huge task in beating Kerry giants P.S Chorcha Dhuibhne who enjoyed a fine second-half comeback in their Munster final win over Tralee CBS.
St. Ronan's College, Lurgan defeated St. Mary's Magherafelt in the MacRory Cup Final.
The Eamonn Fitzmaurice coached side know how to win games that was their fifth Corn U Mhuir title in seven years.
The crucial score that decided the all -Kerry clash came six minutes from the end when a high centre from Raura Beaglaoich was finished to the Tralee CBS net by Franz Sauerland. The All-Ireland semi-final should be another pulsating affair.
Meanwhile, the Masita GAA All Ireland Post Primary Schools Paddy Drummond Cup Senior B Football semi-final also takes place on Wednesday in Abbotstown.
This features Holy Trinity College Cookstown and Iver Sceine Kenmare - who are also looking for national glory for the first time.
Cookstown hit a point in the replayed final in the last minute of extra-time to give them a dramatic win over St. Eunan's College, Letterkenny in the Ulster final.
The sides were level at the break and after the lead had changed hands a few times in the second-half it also finished level again at full-time. St. Eunans led late in extra-time but points by Tiernan Mackle and Oran Mulgrew won it for Holy Trinity.
The game finished: St. Eunan's, Letterkenny 0-13 - Holy Trinity, Cookstown 2-8 and was played in front of crowd of 1,064 in Derry.
Just as in the first game, there was little between the sides throughout the game.
Meanwhile, Pobal Scoil Kenmare were easy winners over Mitchelstown CBS in their Munster Senior B Football Final at Ballyvourney.
The Kerry side gained control from the start and dominated in the half back and midfield sectors. The outcome was never in doubt with Tadhg OSiochru working well and Donal OSullivan too.
A second goal for Kenmare in the 18th minute from OSullivan opened up a two-goal lead 2-3 to 0-3 and Kenmare added six more points before the break.
Kenmare dominated on the restart and prevailed to win a first ever Senior B Football Championship win. For CBS it was their second defeat in the final in a row.