Cathair Dhoire vs Colaisti Inis Eoghain

Celtic Park

Tonight, 7.30pm

Cathair Dhoire are one step away from a place in the McLarnon final, but the only team to have beaten them so far stands in their way – Colaisti Inis Eoghain.

Both outfits, which are both amalgamations, were in the same group at the qualifying stage, and it was the Donegal men who claimed the bragging rights during their first meeting in Celtic Park, running out 1-13 to 3-6 winners. The Derry squad still managed to top the group, however, and it was clear that the two would meet again further along the road.

From that meeting in November, both have shown constant improvement. Cathair Dhoire dumped Our Lady and St Patrick’s of Knock out in the last eight, while Inis Eoghain accounted for St Patrick’s of Keady, with captain Conor O’Donnell scoring 2-5 of their 3-11 total.

The winners of tomorrow’s game are set to face Red High of Downpatrick on St Patrick’s Day after they defeated St Louis, Ballymena by 2-15 to 0-11 in the other semi-final last week.

The St Columb’s contigent of the squad come in extremely high on confidence having won an individual schools Ulster title just last Friday when they beat Abbey V.S in the Markey Cup final.

Cathair Dhoire boss and St Columb’s College PE teacher Michael McLaughlin is looking forward with anticipation to the McLarnon last four clash.

“This Cathair Dhoire team has not just brought the College closer but it has brought the city together,” he told the Derry News. “I think that first night they really caught us, when we were maybe thinking about how good we were and how good we could be.

“But Inis Eoghain showed us some of the quality players that they have in their ranks - top, top players like Conor O’Donnell and Johnny Toye.

“That night we also had to rest players like Shea Browne and Jude Óg Moore as the College had a game scheduled for earlier that day, so we just couldn’t start them. So, it is fair to say that Inis Eoghain will not be facing the same Cathair Dhoire outfit this time around.

“It was through those experiences and over the course of the last few months that we have really seen the lads really gel and come together.

“There is now a better understanding of what we want from them as coaches because they are smart footballers so now we want to create memories as that is what lads remember about their school days.

“But to win and create those memories you have to work as hard as the lads did on Friday past, and we will look to do that when we take on Inis Eoghain tonight.”

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