Antrim chairman Jim Murray is optimistic that a new county football team manager will be confirmed “very shortly”.
And with Gearoid Adams the frontrunner for the post, the chances are that one of his first important assignments will be to run the rule over the depth of talent in St John’s, the club he served superbly as a player for many years while at the same time remaining a fixture at wing-back in the Antrim side.
St John’s have now reached the Antrim final following their handsome 3-13 to 0-5 win over St Mary’s, Ahoghill in their semi-final but such a convincing victory is unlikely to nurture notions of glory given that their opponents in the decider will be long-time title-holders St Gall’s.
If the Johnnies’ dismantling of St Mary’s was impressive, then St Gall’s 2-9 to 0-7 last four victory over Cargin was no less laudable given the quality of the opposition they encountered.
St John’s had things very much their own way against St Mary’s, Conor Johnston, Adrian Oliver and Patrick McBride all landing goals while Conal Kelly, Niall Ward and Pearse Donnelly led their points blitz.
It was an inspired performance from Kieran McGourty |(pictured) that highlighted St Gall’s win over a Cargin side that included a plethora of county stars.
Nor was Kieran the only member of the talented McGourty clan to thrive. His brother C J was in shooting form and each scored a goal.
All-Ireland club champions in 2010, St Gall’s join reigning national kingpins Crossmaglen Rangers in pursuit of yet even more honours and the latter team’s management duo of Tony McEntee and Gareth O’Neill had an opportunity to assess the current strength of their domestic opposition when the last two Armagh quarter-finals were played at the weekend.
Of the four sides on view, Pearse Og were by far the most impressive in their 2-14 to 0-8 win over Ballymacnab.
The other match between Carrickcruppen and Sarsfields finished all square, Stephen Harold, Declan Carville and Paul Keenan instrumental in compiling the Carrickcruppen total of 0-14 and Michael Stevenson hitting 1-4 of the Sarsfields tally of 1-11.
The last of the Down qualifiers between Saval and Ballyholland will be played tonight when the winners will join Castlewellan, Longstone and Rostrevor on one side for the draw for the quarter-finals with Mayobridge, Burren, Bryansford and Kilcoo on the other side.