MacLarnon Quarter Final
Patrician Carrickmacross v St Louis’ Ballymena
Venue: The Dub, Belfast
Friday 14th Jan-1.00pm
The footballers of St. Louis, Ballymena make a step into the unknown this Friday when they take on Patrician College, Carrickmacross in the MacLarnon Cup quarter-final at the Dub, throw in 1-00pm
The St Louis team are managed by Sean Cassidy (Sluaghtneil) and coached by Paddy McAleer (Ballymena) and Cathal McNaughton (Derrynoose).
The team have won one and lost one of the games they played in their qualifying group and were awarded the points against Loreto after the Coleraine college were forced to withdrew from the competition.
In their opening group game St. Louis had a convincing 4-13 to 1-8 victory over Rathmore Grammar. Ryan McQuillan and Calum Higgins (both Glenravel) were dangerous in the forward line with Barry McCloskey (Dunloy) and Ciaran McQuillan (All Saints) coming on as subs to make a positive impact.
St. Pius Magherafelt were expected to provide a much stiffer test in round 2 and so it proved to be but despite losing 2-10 to 2-6 to the Derry side St. Louis performed well against one of the favourites in the competition and it took a late goal to see the Magherafelt side through.
Cal OBrien had a great game in defence while Paul O’Boyle got an important goal before half time. Eamon Carey (Glenravel) did well to nullify the St Pius scoring threat throughout the game.
St Pius topped Group B and now meet Castleblayney leaving St Louis to face Patrician Carrickmacross who topped their Group D and are strong favourites to win the competition.
Jamie McLaughlin (Moneyglass) is the St Louis shot stopper while Conor Higgins (Rasharkin), Shaun O’Callaghan (All Saints), Kevin McCann (Moneyglass), Conan Johnston (Cargin) and Conor Hastings (Randlstown) form the spine of the team.
O’Callaghan captains the side and has recovered from a bad injury he received back in 2020 that threatened his career but he has made a good recovery and the former Antrim minor can make a strong contribution to the St. Louis challenge.
St Louis will start this one as underdogs hoping to cause an upset against a Carrickmacross team who carry several underage Monaghan county players.
All support for the only Saffron school left in the competition would be welcome in Belfast on Friday afternoon and we appeal to all Antrim Gaels who are able to come out and support the Kintullagh side.