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Ranch carry Ulster's hopes

By Declan Bogue

St Mary's College carry all of the Ulster hopes into the Sigerson weekend when they face University College Cork at the Connacht GAA Centre, outside Knock today (2pm throw-in).

The teacher training college have the smallest pick - with under 300 male students - of any of the teams left in the competition, with University of Limerick meeting Waterford Institute of Technology in the other semi-final at the same location.

On the sidelines, the long-time manager of 'The Ranch' Paddy Tally - Tyrone's trainer from their maiden All-Ireland success in 2003 - will find himself up against the venerable figure of Billy Morgan.

St Mary's are hoping to extend their current giant-killing form, having seen off Maynooth IT and serious contenders DCU in the quarter-final. Although they rely on club players more than most, they have enough experience dotted around the team with Down's Kevin McKernan alongside established Tyrone names Cathal McShane and Conor Meyler, Antrim's Matt Fitzpatrick and Fermanagh's rising star Ciaran Corrigan.

However, on their first weekend since 2003, they might find UCC something a tall order. The final is tomorrow.

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