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Elusive club title edging ever nearer for Martin Penrose

By John Campbell

When Tyrone double All-Ireland winner Martin Penrose transferred his considerable talents from Aghyaran to Carrickmore two years ago, he hoped that the move might boost his career.

He may be one of the O'Neill county's most decorated players with two All-Ireland medals, three Ulster gongs, two All-Ireland Under-21 medals and a host of individual accolades but he has yet to win a senior county club championship honour.

That might well come sooner rather than later as Carrickmore are through to the Tyrone semi-finals in which they will meet Ardboe on Sunday while Omagh St Enda's and Dromore will meet in the other semi on Saturday.

For 30-year-old Penrose, the clash with Ardboe is significant. Victory would put Carrickmore into the decider and bring him closer to an honour that he covets.

And Penrose has certainly played his part.

In last weekend's quarter-final win over Augher he scored seven out of the 10 points his side landed but their victory (0-10 to 0-8) only came after they had been fully extended by a gallant Augher side in extra-time.

Penrose is looking forward to the showdown with Arboe.

"As a player you want to be involved in club matches like this. The Tyrone championship is intensely competitive and we know we face a huge task against Ardboe," he stresses.

He was deployed as a substitute for the most part by manager Mickey Harte during Tyrone's rather truncated championship season, Monaghan ending their Ulster title ambitions at the semi-final stage and Armagh proving their masters in the qualifiers.

Now Penrose is keen to prove that he still has plenty to offer even though he is deemed to be in the twilight of his career.

Tyrone boss Harte will be a face in the crowd at Sunday night's tie ostensibly to assess fresh faces but doubtless he will take on board the contributions of some of his most loyal foot-soldiers.

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