Chrissy McKaigue is remaining cautious in glory bid
When Derry won the O'Fiaich Cup by beating Armagh in the final last December, Chrissy McKaigue proved a forceful presence as skipper.
It was that competition which heralded the onset of a busy season for the imposing Slaughtneil clubman, who was an ever-present in his county's football team this year and indeed might well have currently found himself in hot pursuit of not one but two medals.
However, Derry is arguably the county which has been most afflicted by the dual players 'curse' and so, having been forced to confine himself to football rather than marry it to hurling at which he excels, McKaigue will line out for Slaughtneil in tomorrow's championship quarter-final against Kilrea knowing that a hazardous route has still to be followed if success is to come his way.
Slaughtneil are already through to the hurling championship final but the footballers must pick their steps carefully if they too are to remain in with a chance of glory.
Slaughtneil or Kilrea will meet either Dungiven or Glenullin in the last four and McKaigue admits that the concluding stages of the championship are daunting.
"There is always a great atmosphere at Derry championship matches with big crowds so you really have to be on your toes," stresses the versatile McKaigue.
He will help to anchor the Slaughtneil defence tomorrow against a Kilrea attack that will include the dangerous James Kielt.
Meanwhile, Glenullin will look to the Bradley brothers Paddy and Eoin to buttress their side against Dungiven. In the Armagh senior football championship tonight, St Patrick's, Cullyhanna meet Sarsfields at Abbey Park, Armagh. Also tonight, Carrickcruppen will meet Dromintee.
In the Fermanagh senior football championship semi-final tonight, Ederney and Roslea will cross swords. Tomorrow in the other semi-final, Devenish will come up against Teemore.