St Michael’s coach Dom Corrigan was delighted to see his side edge out St Patrick’s Maghera and book their place in this year’s MacRory Cup final. But he acknowledges that they still have areas that they need to improve on if they are to go on and lift the cup on March 18.

The Enniskillen school dictated things in the second half against Maghera to deservedly take their place in the final but by Monday Corrigan had already turned his attentions to preparations for the final.

“We are delighted to have won the game and got through to the final but when you take the emotion out of it and you get watching the DVD there are areas that we feel we can definitely do better in. We have identified those and we’ll set about working on those in training,” he said.

And Corrigan stresses that now they are in the final, the aim is to go on and win it.

“We have plenty of work to do and improvement to make but the great thing about it is these boys are really, really hungry to make those improvements. They are mature enough to realise that what we have done so far, great and all that it is, is not going to be good enough to take us the extra step to get across the finish line in the final. Getting to the final is great but winning it is everything and that is our target now,” he stated.

St Michael’s suffered a couple of set backs during Saturday’s game in conceding two goals but Dom was delighted with the response from his players.

“I’m especially pleased in the manner in which we had to dig it out. The boys were hit by a couple of sucker blows during the game but on each occasion, while conceding the goals was disappointing, the response to the goals was absolutely fantastic and gives great encouragement going forward now to an even bigger test in the final,” he added.

The response after the second goal was particularly impressive as St Michael’s turned a four point deficit into a two point advantage.

“It would have been easy for the heads to drop when we were four down and playing into the breeze but in fairness to the lads their focus all year is to keep playing and irrespective of what arises on the pitch it is all about the next ball. I knew they would fight like dogs to get back into the contest and to hit six unanswered points was fierce impressive,” he said.

The St Michael’s boss was also pleased to see a number of players step up to the plate when it was needed.

“We had a number of leaders who stepped up with massive contributions and that is what you need when you find yourself in a difficult situation. We had leaders in abundance in that final quarter.”

In particular, St Michael’s took control of the middle third which was an area they targeted going into the game.

“We identified this as a massive area to win. Maghera had destroyed Dungannon’s midfield in the quarter final and ended up with a supply of ball going into their forward line that set the platform. We knew we had to go out and sort out the midfield area and Brandon as captain and ably assisted by Joe were both immense throughout the game. Some of Brandon’s catches in particular were eye-catching and definitely every one of them was needed because it turned the tide on our favour.”

There was also a good contribution from the bench with Garvan Quigley especially making a positive mark on the contest.

“In the modern game it is not about the 15 any more and successful teams always need men to come off the bench and make valuable contributions and that is exactly what happened with us on Saturday.

“Whether you are starting the game or coming off the bench, you have to make your time tell, don’t judge yourself on what time you have on the pitch, rather what you do with that time and that is the approach our boys have to it. Garvan’s point from play to tie up the scores showed his confidence and his quality and our bench in general made telling contributions,” said Dom.

It also required a wonderful block by full back Garrett Cavanagh to deny Maghera a late equaliser.

“The bootlace block from Garrett Cavanagh was exceptional and it saved us a replay, there is no doubt about that. He showed massive commitment to make the block and after that there was no way back for Maghera.

“The defending in general was immense all through and from Sean in goal right up to the full forward line every man played his part and that’s what it took to get us across the line and it is going to take the same and better again in the final but he boys are looking forward to raising the bar again.”