(U19 'B' FOOTBALL)
St Pius Magherafelt 1-6
St Columb's Derry 0-8
St Pius Magherafelt were left to hang for a one point victory against St Columb's Derry at Rossa Park on Friday afternoon.
Both schools had won their opening two games and it was a top of the table clash.
The win sealed top spot for St Pius, booking their place in February's Quarter-Finals.
They will also now play OLSS Castleblayney in the semi-finals of the O'Doherty Cup, a competition brought in new this season for all four group leaders - like the McCormick Cup does for MacRory schools.
St Pius, who made six late changes to their listed starting 15, had goalkeeper Callum Lagan to thank for two vital second-half saves, as they registered one solitary point after the break.
A fisted goal from Michael Forbes kept St Pius' noses in front for much of the first-half and they led 1-5 to 0-3.
In the second-half, they retreated into themselves and St Columb's took full advantage, with Shea Browne and Cahir McMonagle carrying a direct attacking threat.
St Pius did have a chance late on but the strong-running Iarlaith Donaghy was brilliantly denied by goalkeeper Ben O'Kane and All-Star defender Naoise Ó Mianáin blocked the Lissan man's rebound.
St Pius scorers: Conor McAteer (0-3), Michael Forbes (1-0), Joseph McElkennon, Iarlaith Donaghy and Shea Coleman (0-1 each).
St Columb's scorers: Cahir McMonagle (0-4, 1f), Jack Boyce, Tiarnan O'Connor, Liam Connolly and Shea Browne (0-1 each).
For full report and photos, grab Tuesday's County Derry Post.
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