St Pat’s Maghera cruise to MacRory Cup success

St Patrick's Shane McGuigan in action with St Paul's Declan Loye
St Patrick's Shane McGuigan in action with St Paul's Declan Loye

St Patrick’s Maghera cruised to a comfortable win over St Paul’s Bessbrook in the MacRory Cup final at the Athletic Grounds in Armagh.

The victory was built on a blistering start from St Pat’s who grabbed four goals inside the opening 18 minutes.

Shane McGuigan’s third minute opener shocked Bessbrook early on and Maghera went on to dominate the early stages moving eight points clear after just eight minutes.

St Paul’s finally got off the mark when Niall McGuinness pointed in the ninth minute but Maghera responded with further goals from McGuigan, Francis Kearney and Paddy Quigg to give them a 4-4 to 0-5 at the break

After the interval St Paul’s improved as they grabbed an unanswered 1-02.

Liam Kerr and Shea Loye scored the points before a great run from Niall McGuinness ended with an impressive goal from Loye.

Oisin McWilliams reopened the victors’ account for the second-half before McGuigan added to his tally with another point before Loye and Liam Kerr cut the deficit to six.

The gap stayed at two goals before Conall Darragh settled the issue with a penalty late on for St Pat’s, who recorded their 15th success in the competition and their third in four years.

“We had worked on our starts in training. In the last couple of games we didn’t start well, I think we were six points behind in each game,” said Maghera captain, Conor Glass who has already signed terms to join Australian Rules outfit Hawthorn.

“It was something we had focused on so to pull it off in the final, the biggest game, was really good.”

St Pat’s forward and man-of-the match Patrick Kearney said: “At the start of the campaign we we written off but we knew we could go far.

“We moved the ball quickly at the start and they couldn’t handle Shane McGuigan and Francis Kearney.

“We can definitely go on to win the Hogan Cup but we just want to want to enjoy this first.”