Holmes ready to be a hero for Armagh Harps
Collie Holmes could not have hit form at a better time of the year.
The Dungannon schoolteacher found himself helping to bolster the Tyrone midfield for the All Ireland semi-final against Wexford and final against Kerry alongside Enda McGinley.
And it was the solid work-rate and commitment of Holmes that proved an important element in the Red Hands’ formula for success.
On Sunday, Holmes (pictured) will have a rather more modest, although no less demanding, goal when he lines out at midfield for Armagh Harps against Crossmaglen Rangers in the county senior football championship semi-final at the Athletic Grounds, Armagh (4.00).
He is aiming to bring the Harps into the decider against Pearse Og or Killeavey - but Rangers represent a massive obstacle to his ambitions.
Holmes will find himself operating alongside Charlie Vernon, a player who established himself in the Armagh side this year and whose dynamic style will be central to the Harps’ attacking strategy against the perennial Armagh champions.
Now going for their thirteenth title on the trot, Rangers bring their mix of old and new faces to the Athletic Grounds conscious that the Harps, having beaten Mullaghbawn in the semi-final, will be in buoyant mood.
But while the Holmes-Vernon alliance will bolster Harps, the all-round talent and skill within the Rangers side will keep them in pole position for the county crown.
Four Kernan brothers - Aaron, Stephen, Paul and Tony - will be in action for the holders while county stars Oisin McConville, Francie Bellew and Paul Hearty will also be in action.
Twins John and Tony McEntee are still there, of course, while David McKenna hopes to get some game time depending on his recovery from a wrist injury.
But Rangers overall experience should take them into the county decider — again.