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McErlain ready for a scouting mission ahead of Ulster final

By John Campbell

Derry boss Damian McErlain will take in today's Ulster Minor Football Championship semi-final between Monaghan and Donegal at Kingspan Breffni Park, Cavan (5pm) knowing that the victors will form "a massive test" for his team in the decider.

McErlain's side beat Cavan in last year's final and have already shown that they are suitably armed to retain their crown by the manner in which they beat Tyrone in the quarter-finals and Armagh in the first semi.

But McErlain believes that Donegal's status as Minor League champions and Monaghan's win over Down will have provided them with incentive.

"While I thought my boys showed great character in chiselling out that win over Armagh, Monaghan and Donegal are two minor sides of real quality. I feel that their meeting will show Ulster football at this level in a good light," predicted McErlain.

Donegal boast an ace in their pack in Niall O'Donnell - he landed 1-5 in the quarter-final win over Antrim - while Monaghan will look to David Garland to spark their attack.

For McErlain, assessing today's match forms a critical part of his preparations for the Ulster final. He added: "It's going to be tough no matter who we come up against. Having been taken to extra-time by Armagh, we know how difficult it is going to be. We are in for a massive test."

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