ST PAUL’S Bessbrook booked their place in a historic MacRory Cup final with an impressive 2-12 to 1-6 win over St Macartan’s Monaghan on Wednesday night.
An Athletic Grounds crowd of more than 2,600 people saw the Armagh side become just the third team in Ulster College’s football history to win the MacLarnon Cup and contest the MacRory final in successive years.
Goals from Conor Nugent and Caolán McCullagh helped their side overcome the Monaghan side and set up a potential derby final against St Colman’s Newry, who face St Patrick’s Maghera in the other semi-final.
Bessbrook raced into a 1-7 to 0-0 lead in the first 20 minutes, including three points from the influential Ciaron O’Hanlon, before St Macartan’s hit an unanswered goal and three points to reduce the deficit going into the break.
McCullagh’s goal after the restart extended the gap for the Armagh side before scores from Blaine Malone and Daniel Nugent helped keep St Macartan’s at bay.
A late red card for defender Conor Boyle, who will miss the March 18 final, was the only sour note for a Bessbrook side now one game away from becoming the first school to win the MacLarnon and MacRory cups successively.
St Michael’s Lurgan will provide local interest in the MacLarnon final after they defeated St Eunan’s Letterkenny 1-15 to 1-12 in Dunmoyle last night.
A goal and four points from Ruairi Loughran helped his side book their first MacLarnon showpiece appearance since 2010 where the Armagh side will face 2004 champions St Louis Kilkeel.
Both finals will be played in the Athletic Grounds, Armagh, on Monday March 18.