Belfast Telegraph

Friday 19 September 2014

Bernie's thirst to end title drought

Former Derry PRO Bernie Mullan has amassed over 30 years experience as a GAA administrator in the county.

Few people, then, are better qualified to assess Derry's chances against Donegal in Sunday's Ulster final.

Derry's last Ulster title triumph in 1998 still holds pleasant memories for him, although like everyone else in the county he hopes a 13-year famine is about to come to an end. Enda Muldoon (33) is the only survivor from the '98 side who will be in action in Clones.

"Ironically, it was Donegal we beat by two points in 1998," recalls Bernie. "That was the last time an Ulster final was staged without the involvement of either Tyrone or Armagh.

"We have met Donegal on four occasions in Ulster finals and the biggest margin of victory has been two points."

While Derry may not have been a dominant force in the championship, it is a rather different story in the National League. The Oak Leaf men have captured the title on five occasions in the past 20 years their most recent triumph coming in 2008.

"We beat Kerry in the final at Parnell Park Dublin that year but then the following year they turned the tables on us. We were looked upon one time as being league specialists but there is absolutely no comparison between league success and championship success," insists Bernie.

"Ulster championship success has always been our aim and this is the case more than ever this year. Under John Brennan there is a terrific spirit within the squad."

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