Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 18 September 2014

McConville upholds the legendary status of his family

Oisin McConville impressed by his nephew's talent
Oisin McConville impressed by his nephew's talent

Oisin O'Neill will have a lot to live up to when he steps out with Armagh for Sunday's Ulster minor football final against Donegal at Clones. The talented Crossmaglen Rangers player is a nephew of Orchard County legend Oisin McConville and will have a key role at centrethreequarters in an Armagh side that has already upset the formbook by beating Cavan and Monaghan en route to the decider.

O'Neill is one of several exciting prospects who have come to the fore in an Armagh side fashioned by manager Paul Doyle, but they will go into Sunday's contest as underdogs against a Donegal outfit that has been in sparkling form since the start of the year.

O'Neill, Conor Grimley and skipper Caolan McConville are pivotal figures in an attack that has bared its teeth to date, but which manager Doyle concedes will need to deliver even more against Donegal.

"Declan Bonner will have Donegal at concert pitch for this final and we will have to be on our toes," says schoolteacher Doyle.

"They have some fine scoring forwards in their side who can do damage if they are given a supply of the ball."

In beating Derry and Antrim, Donegal hinted that they had something in reserve.

Manager Bonner has placed the emphasis on fast-flowing attack with Lorcan Connors, John Campbell, Jamie Brennan and Eoghan Bán Gallagher accurate forwards.

Yet Armagh's semi-final win over reigning Ulster champions Monaghan flashed out a warning that they will be tough opponents for Bonner's boys – an assessment that evokes an endorsement from Oisin McConville himself.

"I have watched both teams to date and have been impressed by them," he said.

"The standard of football at minor level has been surprisingly high and I've a feeling Armagh could get over the line in this one.

"I am not being parochial; I believe they have a huge competitive instinct and a great spirit and these are the qualities which might help bring them the title."

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