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Minors avoid major headache

It is doubtful if any competition which staged by the GAA this year will share the dubious distinction that has already befallen the Northern Bank Ulster Club Minor Football Tournament.

Since the scheduled start of the event early last month every match has been postponed at least once due to weather conditions.

Yet it is a measure of the resilience, enthusiasm and dedication of the organising committee that even when the sequence was extended yesterday, within two hours the postponed Kilcar v Lamh Dhearg semi-final had been re-arranged for next Sunday and Magherafelt O’Donovan Rossa had been advised that they must exercise a little more patience before now making their appearance in the final on January 23.

“We got word yesterday morning that the Kilcar team bus would be unable to make the trip to Belfast essentially because of the treacherous nature of the roads in Donegal,” explains tournament spokesman Billy McLarnon.

“We understood their plight — the safety of players and supporters is paramount. We tried to move as quickly as we could to re-schedule the closing stages of the competition.”

Even though the competition has been bedevilled by arctic weather, the matches that have been played to date have all provided a very high standard of fare.

While yesterday’s semi-final call-off was a bitter pill to swallow, the committee believe the match will not lose any of its appeal because of another week’s wait.

“We know that it is to be milder next week and we are very happy about that. Our hope would be that over the course of the next two Sundays we will get the competition completed,” adds McLarnon.

“The expectation was that we would have had a very big crowd yesterday, but if the fans can wait just a little longer I am sure they will be rewarded with a cracking match next Sunday.”

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