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Hot-shot strike force ready to Rock for centenary bonus

By John Campbell

Tyrone champions Rock will look to their twin strike force of Aidan McGarrity and Conor McCreesh to help bring the ultimate centenary season bonus a step closer when they face Newtownbuter in tomorrow's Ulster Junior Club Football Championship semi-final at Clones (2.30pm).

In the county final win over Tattyreagh, McGarrity potted 1-6 and followed this up with 1-5 in the emphatic 4-12 to 0-7 Ulster quarter-final win over Cavan title-holders Cornafean.

Rock, who have won the Tyrone crown twice in the last three years, are particularly keen to mark their centenary in style but long-serving former Tyrone midfield ace Ciaran Gourley, who can provide the ammunition for the McGarrity-McCreesh spearhead, acknowledges that Newtownbutler will be a different proposition to Cornfaen.

"We managed to get three early goals against Cornafean and that set us on our way. Tomorrow we will surely not have it as easy," states Gourley.

Certainly, Newtownbutler manager Vinny Connolly views his side's prospects in a positive vein following their quarter-final win over Down side Drumgath.

Ryan Carson, James Connolly and Brendan McBrien help to lend a solid backbone to his team that looked impressive in winning the Fermanagh championship.

Much will depend on how they perform at midfield where the normally imposing Gourley is capable of establishing the template for a Rock victory.

In the other junior semi-final, Donegal side Downings face Monaghan representatives Blackhill fortified by their quarter-final win over Derry title-holders Magilligan.

Downings include a number of talented young players in their side but Blackhill could still trip their opponents up in this one.

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