Belfast Telegraph

Monday 1 September 2014

Derry pair fix sights on hurling honours

Sean Marty Lockhart and Mark Lynch gave splendid service to Derry this year when they helped bring the side to within touching distance of a place in the All Ireland football semi-finals.

It was only in the closing stages of a tense quarter-final that Dublin eventually crushed the Oak Leaf side's dream of glory.

Tomorrow Lockhart and Lynch will line up for action again - but this time in more modest surroundings.

They will have key roles in the Banagher side that will face Lavey in the Derry senior hurling championship semi-final at Swatragh (1.45)

Their versatility - both are accomplished dual players, of course - is just one of the reasons why Banagher, playing in their third hurling semi-final on the trot and champions two years ago, enter the fray buoyed by optimism.

The McCloskey brothers Oisin and Ruairi, the Biggs brothers Gary and Gregory and ex-Tipperary Under 21 ace John O'Dwyer are other key components of the Banagher line-up.

Lavey still look to senior citizen Ollie Collins for inspiration but their team is essentially a young, emerging combination - and they may discover that Banagher hold too many aces.

In tomorrow's other 'semi' on the Swatragh double bill, Kevin Lynch's will do battle with Slaughtneil (3.15).

The Hinpheys - Liam, Ciaran and Kevin - will be in the vanguard of the Dungiven side who can also look to Geoffrey McGonigle and Cathal and Emmett McKeever for leadership.

Slaughtneil's youthful zest and hunger are perhaps best epitomised by Gareth O'Kane and Eoin McGuigan who have already offered a pointer that they could blossom at a higher level.

But tomorrow their hopes of domestic glory may flounder on the twin rocks of Kevin Lynch's experience and scoring power.

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