Belfast Telegraph

UK Website Of The Year

Home Sport GAA

Minor problem, there's no back doors in Ulster

By John Campbell

Published 02/06/2015

Summer holiday: Mickey Donnelly’s season is now over
Summer holiday: Mickey Donnelly’s season is now over

Tyrone, Monaghan and Fermanagh have already taken their leave of the Ulster Minor Football Championship - and, worse still, packed their gear away for this year.

While minor teams in other provinces get to enjoy a second bite at the championship cherry, in Ulster the sudden death element still pertains.

And that's an issue which team bosses and indeed several county boards feel should be addressed as a matter of urgency.

Only the beaten Ulster finalists are accommodated in the All-Ireland series in the absence of any qualifier format.

Donegal have reached the Ulster semi-finals in which they will meet the winners of next Sunday's Derry v Down tie on Saturday June 27 as the curtain raiser to the Armagh/Donegal v Derry/Down senior semi-final.

Antrim, meanwhile, will meet Cavan in the other semi-final and this will take place on Sunday June 21 when Fermanagh and Monaghan clash in the first senior semi-final.

The anomaly in relation to the All-Ireland minor championship remains a bone of contention within Ulster.

Tyrone boss Mickey Donnelly along with Monaghan's Garrett Coyle and Fermanagh's Keith Reilly have worked hard to build their panels and formulate playing strategies, but their players will play only club football for the remainder of the summer.

Contrast this with Munster. Not only are the finalists known there, but the back door competition in the province has already been completed.

"This shows you how a province can move on when it has a mind to," said one Ulster team manager.

"It's unfair that Ulster counties do not get a second chance in the championship.

"Several teams have already folded up their tents for the year yet the business end of the championship season has still to be reached."

Donegal are already strong favourites to retain their Ulster title as well as being in the mix for the All-Ireland crown.

If they retain their provincial crown, Donegal will have played a minimum of four games while in other provinces three games can take a team to the title while other sides have the safety-net of a second chance.

Belfast Telegraph

How to Complain

If you have a complaint about the editorial content of the Belfast Telegraph or Sunday Life then contact the Editor here. If you are not satisfied with the response provided then you can contact the Independent Press Standards Organisation here

Your Comments

COMMENT RULES: Comments that are judged to be defamatory, abusive or in bad taste are not acceptable and contributors who consistently fall below certain criteria will be permanently blacklisted. The moderator will not enter into debate with individual contributors and the moderator’s decision is final. It is Belfast Telegraph policy to close comments on court cases, tribunals and active legal investigations. We may also close comments on articles which are being targeted for abuse. Problems with commenting? customercare@belfasttelegraph.co.uk

Read More

From Belfast Telegraph