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St Columb's and St Pius set for top of table clash

McLarnon Cup group stages head down to the last round

St Pius romp to second McLarnon Cup victory

McLarnon Cup.

The clash of unbeaten St Pius Magherafelt and St Columb's Derry will decide top spot on Group D of the McLarnon Cup.

A late point from Cahir McMonagle steered St Columb's to their second win of the campaign in their 1-20 to 2-16 win over Loreto at Celtic Park on Wednesday afternoon.  St Columb's also beat St Louis (3-10 to 1-8) in their first game.

On Tuesday, St Pius' landslide win over St Louis Ballymena takes them to the top of the group on score difference.

Padraig O'Kane's side, who last won the title in 2009, were 5-16 to 0-7 winners over St Louis at Ahoghill in Tuesday's game.  A late goal cemented a 1-15 to 0-10 win for St Pius over Loreto in the opening in round.

The final group games will decide the final pairings.

Remaining group D fixtures
Loreto v St Louis (Wed, Nov 27 in Owenbeg - time TBC)
St Pius v St Columb's (Details TBC)

Group D PL W D L PTS
St Pius 2 2 0 0 4
St Columb's 2 2 0 0 4
Loreto 2 0 0 21 0
St Louis 2 0 0 2 0

The McLarnon Cup is played in four groups of four.  After the groups conclude, all group winners advance straight to the quarter-finals in February.  The group winners also qualify for the semi-finals of the Irish News Cup, in a similar way to the McCormick Cup in the Grade A level.

In terms of the McLarnon progress, the rest of the teams enter two rounds of play-offs (listed below) where Group D is paired with Group A which includes Castleblayney, Bessbrook, Downpatrick and Castlewellan.

In Group A, three teams are on two points but Castleblayney's 6-6 to 0-13 win over holders Downpatrick sees them top on score difference.  St Malachy's Castlewellan lost their first two games and are rooted to the bottom.

GROUP A PL W D L PTS
Castleblayney 1 1 0 0 2
Bessbrook 1 1 0 0 2
Downpatrick 2 1 0 1 2
Castlewellan 2 0 0 2 0

McLarnon Cup Round 1 qualifiers

(Before 18 January)
1 - A3 v D4
2 - B3 v C4
3 - C3 v B4
4 - D3 v A4

McLarnon Cup Round 2 qualifiers
(31 Jan - 3 Feb)
A2 v Winner 2
B2 v Winner 1
C2 v Winner 4
D2 v Winner 3

Quarter-Finals (12-16 Feb)
A seeded draw, with group winners draw out to play the teams that emerge from qualifying round 2.

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