MacRory replay fog-bound

February 27, 2019

Danske Bank MacRory Cup semi-final Replay

St Patrick’s Armagh 1-7 Omagh CBS 0-4 (match abandoned at half-time)
From Kevin Kelly in the Athletic Grounds

St Patrick’s Armagh and Omagh CBS will have to do it all over again after their Danske Bank MacRory Cup semi-final at the Athletic Grounds last night was abandoned due to dense fog.

The contest started but as the first half progressed visibility decreased to such an extent that Antrim official Sean Laverty was left with no choice but to call the game off. The two sides will meet again at the same venue on Friday evening for the right to play St Michael’s Enniskillen in decider.

Daniel Fullerton had opened the scoring for the Tyrone lads but Ryan Bradley levelled matters before Michael Conroy edged Armagh in front. Even at that stage with only six minutes gone both managements teams were in consultation along the side-lines with members of the Ulster Schools’ committee as to whether the game should progress.

For a brief spell the fog looked like lifting but towards the end of the first half neither sets of goals were visible. Having got the lead Armagh went about their business with Justin Kieran making it 0-3 to 0-1 before they grabbed a goal at the end of the opening quarter.

Sean Quigley and Dillion Horsfield were involved in the build up with Tom Weir first timing the ball to the net despite Omagh keeper Oran Grimes getting a hand to it.

Bradley and Conroy added to Armagh’s tally as they raced into a 1-6 to 0-1 lead despite the fact that conditions were deteriorating. Omagh CBS did rally briefly with points from Liam Gray and Simon Garrity before a Conroy free brought the scoring to a close and in fact that game.

Both camps agreed afterwards that the referee had made the correct call.

“After five minutes I couldn’t believe it as we have had boys training all season and out every Saturday and I couldn’t see what was going on out on the pitch,” admitted Omagh CBS manager Kieran Donnelly.
“Both management teams agreed after five minutes to call it off but the danger then is that one team pulls away and that is what happened. In the end it was just common sense to call it off.
“It’s all to play for on Friday night between two good sides and may the best team win.”

St Patrick’s Armagh assistant manager Sean O’Kane agreed.
“The conditions for both teams were horrendous,” said Sean.
“After two minutes I spoke to one of the Omagh managers and said that we can’t play football in that and then I spoke to one of the Ulster schools’ officials but we waited until half-time.
“It probably wasn’t the right decision to keep the game going until half-time but the decision was made and we just got on with it. That’s football you get thrown these curve balls but you just have to get on with it and ourselves and Omagh will go again on Friday night.”

Omagh CBS: O Grimes, R Hollywood, A Fox, T Donaghy, C McBride, A Montgomery, E Montgomery, L McBride, R Kennedy, S Garrity (0-1), L Gray (0-2, 2F), S McDonagh, D Fullerton (0-1), M Hayes, A McConnell.
St Patrick’s Armagh: J Gibney, O Conatty, O McKeagney, A Harney, S Quigley, C Toner, N Boyle, M McGleenan, O Hughes, D Horsfield (0-1), M Conroy (0-3, 2F), T Weir (1-0), R Bradley (0-2), J Kieran (0-1), L Coulter.

Sub: R McDonald for McGleenan (black card)

Referee: S Laverty, Antrim