Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 24 April 2014

Paddy Crozier forced to do without banned trio for semi-final

Omagh St Enda’s manager Paddy Crozier has been forced to bite the bullet as his team prepare to take on Carrickmore in today’s Tyrone senior football championship semi-final at Pomeroy.

With the Disputes Resolution Authority having thrown out the club’s last-ditch appeal against the proposed bans on Micheal Gallagher, Dara O’Neill and Stephen Mullan, Crozier is now not only resigned to being without this trio but is also missing the already suspended Justin McMahon.

In addition, he still harbours concerns about the fitness of Joe McMahon and Ronan O’Neill and remains disenchanted about the way in which video evidence was initially used by the Tyrone Competitions Control Committee in determining the trio of suspensions following a brawl that marked the conclusion of Omagh’s semi-final win over Ardboe.

“I would not be happy with aspects of this and now we are forced to go into a very important game without a raft of key players. Obviously club officials have taken our case as far as it can be taken,” said Crozier.

Meanwhile, Mayobridge boss Eamon McEnaney hopes to celebrate his appointment as new Monaghan supremo by leading the club to the Down senior football championship title.

Tonight McEnaney aims to plot the downfall of Burren at the semi-final stage aware that his opponents are regarded as strong candidates for the county crown. McEnaney acknowledges that he will need a substantial contribution from his marquee player Benny Coulter who has been battling against injury lately if Mayobridge are to reach the decider.

Yet even if Coulter can respond to the demands of the occasion, McEnaney is still assailed by doubts that his other injury victims — Conor Garvey, Michael Walsh, Ronan Sexton and Noel Sexton — may not make the cut.

With Down trio Daniel McCartan, Declan Rooney and Kevin McKernan underpinning the Burren defence, the Mayobridge attack will need to operate at full throttle if a place in the decider is to be earned.

In the second semi tomorrow, Bryansford will face reigning champions Kilcoo who have already shown last year’s triumph was not a flash in the pan.

Bryansford may again deploy Down midfield colossus and Allstar nominee Kalum King at full-forward, while Luke Howard will help oversee defensive operations with Conor Maginn.

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