A place in this year’s MacRory Cup final is the prize that is up for grabs for the winner of this Saturday’s clash between St Michael’s and St Patrick’s Maghera.

St. Michael’s coach Dom Corrigan is well aware of the challenge that lies ahead for his side against a Maghera outfit that have swept aside all in front of them through the various competitions in their age group but Corrigan feels that if his side can produce the performance they are capable of then they are good enough to book their place in the decider.

“We will be going to Loughmacrory on Saturday knowing that there is a ticket to a MacRory Cup final dangling in front of us and it will be the team that produces that wholehearted effort and that smarter football over the course of the 60 minutes that is going to get that ticket.

“We have done everything in our power to have our boys prepared to ensure that they deliver and if they can produce what they are capable of then they are well capable of taking it on to the next step,” said Corrigan.

He knows though that it is going to take a massive performance from his players if they are to get past the Derry school.

“This Maghera team have shown down through the school that they have real quality.

“They would be fancied to win the competition, they have came through their qualifying campaign and won their quarter-final handsomely against St Pat’s Dungannon, beating them by ten points,” he added.

And there is no doubt about the talent that Maghera have at their disposal.

A half back line of the hugely impressive Conleith McShane, flanked by Odhran Downey and Eunan Mulholland is one that St Michael’s must curb while in the middle of the park the pairing of McHugh and Shivers provide them with a physical presence in that area. And they carry real potency in attack in the shape of Alec Doherty, Eoin Downey and Fintan Bradley.

However, Corrigan stresses that St Michael’s main focus will be on their own game and getting the required performance.

“Like every time we go out in championship football it is all about focusing on ourselves and irrespective of who the opposition have got we will be looking to maximise what we have in our group and we are well equipped ourselves. We have solid defenders, we have a very powerful midfield pairing in Joe and Brandon and up front we have quality scoring forwards.

“It will come down then to the team that can produce their best on the day and we will be targetting a big start and looking to get our very best performance out of each and every player. It is going to take a massive collective from those that start to those that come off the bench to get us over the line.

“We are looking forward to it. We have no fears, we fully believe in ourselves and are confident in our ability as individuals and as a team and we definitely are relishing the challenge that is put in front of us.”

Defensively Corrigan will be looking for big displays from the likes of Luke Flanagan, Josh Horan and Josh Largo Elis while at the other end of the pitch the likes of Darragh McBrien, Conor Love and Micheal Glynn provide the Enniskillen school with an incisive cutting edge.

Corrigan believes though that the key is going to be in the middle third and will be looking for captain Brandon Horan and Joe McDade to stamp their authority on proceedings.

“That middle area is going to be crucial. That is the key. Both teams have forwards who can do damage if they get the supply so we will be looking to cut off the supply to the Maghera forwards and on the other hand look to get plenty of ammunition to our own forwards who certainly have the ability to punish teams if they get half chances,” he said.

One thing that Corrigan does feel will stand to his side is the tough test they faced in edging out Abbey CBS in the quarter-final.

“They have had no test yet whereas we have been seriously tested against the Abbey. They really threw everything at us and by doing that they have done us a big favour in our preparation for this game because the lads had to show nerves of steel in that last ten minutes when Abbey came back and drew level. We had to show patience and composure to work a score through Josh Horan and then keep them out at the other end. I think that battle against the Abbey has brought us on and developed the team even more. Certainly teams that come through those type of challenges are always the better for it.”

He admits though that they have plenty of room for improvement from that game against the Newry side.

“We have done a good review of our quarter-final and we have looked at aspects that we felt we didn’t do ourselves justice on. We gave away a lot of fouls, we gave away a lot of ball in unforced errors and we weren’t clinical with our shots so there is three things that we are looking to step up on and the lads are determined to put those right on Saturday,” he stated.

And if they can do that then Corrigan id hopeful that they can progress to the final.

“We know what is facing us but we feel that if we can get the best out of our players and the boys deliver the performance they are capable of we can make it through to a MacRory Cup final,” he concluded.