Derry stars Kielts out to stop own county
The name Kielt is already synonymous with football in Derry — but tonight that very name could serve to threaten its well-being.
Brothers James and Charlie Kielt could find themselves in the Queen’s side that will oppose the Oak Leaf men at Celtic Park (7.30pm) in Section B of the Barrett Sports Lighting Dr McKenna Cup, hoping to make it a second victory on the bounce.
Both are established Derry players of course but have thrown their lot in with their university side for the McKenna cup.
In overcoming Monaghan at the weekend, Queen’s looked lively and inventive with Charlie Kielt grabbing three points, Niall McKenna plundering a similar haul from midfield, Ryan Jones also impressing in the engine-room and Brian Cox and Colin Fleming both underlining their value in attack.
But Derry were not exactly conceding ground either at the weekend. Their two-point win over Cavan has given new boss John Brennan sufficient encouragement to approach tonight’s contest favouring a policy of all-out attack.
“We have players capable of getting scores and maybe they (Queen’s) do too — it should be a decent match,” observes Brennan.
Queen’s boss Cathal O’Rourke is hoping to have his strongest possible side available for the game as he targets a semi-final slot.
But it will take a big effort from the other two Section B sides Monaghan and Cavan if they are to reach the last four. They meet tonight at Inniskeen with both keen to get off the mark. Veteran Paul Finlay can spur Monaghan but Cavan boss Val Andrews is some way short of finding anything approaching a settled blend.
Monaghan manager Eamon McEnaney is still hopeful that some of his more experienced players will be available to him as he focuses on what will be a particularly demanding campaign for his team in Division One of the National League.