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Derrygonnelly set sights on revenge at Celtic Park

By Declan Bogue

Published 29/10/2016

Preparation: Derrygonnelly manager Martin Greene has his team ready
Preparation: Derrygonnelly manager Martin Greene has his team ready

Derrygonnelly Harps get a chance to atone for last year's 4-13 to 1-4 hammering against Slaughtneil when the same two teams meet tomorrow at Celtic Park in the Ulster quarter-final (throw-in 2.30pm).

Last year, the Fermanagh club captured the league and championship double on a wave of emotion after club stalwart Damian McGovern passed away following an industrial accident.

His death caused the county final to be postponed and after it was played, there was only one week to get ready for the Ulster Club.

"It will be different this time. We have had a lot more time to prepare for what is ahead of us," their manager Martin 'Archie' Greene said this week.

Of course, Slaughtneil are in the midst of a phenomenal run. Last Sunday in the Athletic Grounds, they became the first Derry club to win the Ulster Senior Hurling Championship, beating Loughgiel.

After that game, all their dual players made the familiar trek to the ice-baths in Toome rather than toasting their success and the club did not stage a celebration in the hall as a mark of respect to club volunteer Thomas Cassidy who was buried two days before.

One surprise package in the Ulster scene, although they are not unfamiliar of course, are Donegal's Glenswilly who face Kilcoo of Down at Newry tomorrow (throw-in 2.30pm).

It seemed everybody fancied Martin McHugh's Kilcar team to win the Donegal final handily, but they counted without the immense influence that Michael Murphy and Neil Gallagher bring to proceedings and the men from the Glen edged home after a spectacular first-half showing.

Kilcoo will have serious expertise and knowledge of those two men in the form of manager Paul McIver's father, former Derry boss Brian.

As manager of Donegal, Brian made Neil Gallagher captain for their National League triumph in 2007, while he also handed Murphy his county debut.

Kilcoo and Glenswilly are set to mirror each other with packed zonal defences, so the difference just might be how Murphy is utilised.

Belfast Telegraph

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