Three leading inter-county players have just been handed a massive incentive to make a impact in the All Ireland Football Championship which will swing into action next weekend when Mayo face New York.
Tyrone skipper Brain Dooher made a return to club action after several months out following groin surgery, Liam McBarron can build on the part he played in helping Kilmacud Crokes win the All Ireland Club title now that he has been named as one of the four midfielders in the Fermanagh squad and long-serving Trevor Mortimer has been appointed captain of Mayo.
Dooher’s return could yet see him lead the Red Hands against Armagh on May 3 in Clones although manager Mickey Harte is carefully monitoring the progress of the Clan na gael clubman who was unable to prevent his side losing to Eskra in the Tyrone Intermediate Championship by 0-12 to 1-4 on Friday night.
McBarron’s inclusion in the Fermanagh squad offers him the chance to rekindle some of the glory he shared when the Ernesiders reached the All Ireland semi-final in 2004 while Mortimer continues something of a family tradition by leading Mayo, his brother Kenneth having skippered the county in the 90’s.
Meanwhile, Monaghan lost the National Hurling League Division Four final against Sligo 1-13 to 2-4 on Saturday after extra-time. Keith Raymond hit 1-6 for the winners while Stephen Lamble and Willie O’Toole netted for Monaghan who were ahead by a point in extra-time.
Kildare caused something of a surprise when they beat Meath by 2-18 to 1-18 to win the Division 3A decider with Tony Murphy and Damien Cafferty scoring their goals.
London emerged as the only unbeaten side overall in the National League when they duly clinched the Division 3B title by beating Roscommon by 2-18 to 2-13.