Belfast Telegraph

McCorry has Kilcoo fired up for Ballinderry

By Declan Bogue

Kilcoo manager Jim McCorry is steeling himself for the biggest test of his motivational powers since his inspirational rhetoric snatched the most unlikely of victories for Armagh against Fermanagh 20 years ago.

In that memorable encounter, Armagh, then under McCorry's tutelage, trailed the Ernesiders by nine points in the last quarter but staged a dramatic recovery, highlighted by three goals, to win by a point.

Understandably, the then Fermanagh manager Hugh McCabe was devastated afterwards whereas McCorry's relief was all too apparent.

Now as he prepares his Kilcoo outfit for Sunday's Ulster club championship semi-final against Ballinderry, McCorry is hoping that his motivational skills will serve him well.

Kilcoo will enter the fray following two stamina-sapping encounters against Crossmaglen, both of which went to extra-time, and have been taking stock of the scars of these battles this week.

"We had a lot of sore bodies at training last night. Players need the chance to recover and focus properly on next Sunday's game. Ballinderry have had an opportunity to rest up since their win over Scotstown and they will go in against us fresh and reinvigorated," said McCorry.

Yet such is the competitive spirit, burning ambition and obvious pride within his own side that McCorry remains optimistic they can once again dig into the deep reservoir of energy and commitment that has served them so well of late.

"To be truthful, these boys don't need motivation as such, all they need is a little encouragement. They are so focused and fired-up that they just want to give everything they can. But I know that I have the task of making sure they are mentally right and physically strong," said McCorry.

Anthony Devlin and Jerome Johnston were absentees from last Sunday's line-up but James McClean and Niall Morgan who were drafted in at the eleventh-hour did well as did Jerome Johnston and Felim McGreevy when they were introduced from the bench.

McCorry will be looking for another huge effort from his midfield pairing of Paul Greenan and Aidan Branagan who will be up against Kevin McGuckin and James Conway, an experienced duo who have had much to do with Ballinderry's progress to date this year. Daryl Branagan will miss the game having incurred a red card last Sunday.

"We have been losing players lately but so far we have overcome this. The boys who have gone in have been superb and the bond within the side could not be better. I will be emphasising that we are very close to another Ulster club final appearance and this is something that these boys would really relish," added McCorry.

* TYRONE county board have confirmed that former captain Feargal Logan is set to take the reins of the county under-21 team, as Raymond Monroe's successor.

He will be joined by Brian Dooher in his backroom team, along with another as yet undetermined selector. Logan was in midfield for Tyrone's All-Ireland final appearance in 1995 and has been highly-involved in the Tyrone development squads in recent years.

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