Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 23 October 2014

Rangers 'spies' to mount a Leinster stake-out

It's another spying mission for the Crossmaglen Rangers management team this Sunday.

Their destination will be Cusack Park, Mullingar where manager Donal Murtagh, secretary Gerard Rushe and treasurer Thomas McKenna will take in the AIB Leinster Club football final between Dublin champions St Vincent's and Westmeath representatives Tyrrellspass.

With Rangers due to meet London side Tir Conaill Gaels in the All Ireland quarter-final on January 27, the winners of this game will meet the side that is crowned Leinster champions in the semi-finals in February.

And that's why the Rangers are undertaking what Murtagh refers to a "homework exercise" although he quickly points out that his team are taking nothing for granted in relation to the trip to London.

"We know that Tir Conaill Gaels will be difficult particularly on the tight Ruislip pitch in London," he adds.

He is travelling to Mullingar on Sunday "with an open mind", as he puts it.

"We will be looking at two teams who are not only focused on winning the Leinster championship but who would appear to have viable ambitions of maybe winning the All Ireland," he points out.

It promises to be quite an encounter as St.Vincent's bid for their fourth provincial title - their first since 1984 - while Tyrrellspass are attempting to become the first Westmeath club to win the title.

Having got a walkover in the first round when Wicklow failed to produce champions in time for the opening round, St.Vincent's fought two tough battles with Meath champions, Seneschalstown before clinching a place in the semi-final.

Tomas 'Mossy' Quinn, Dermot Connolly, Ger Brennan and former Mayo stars, Pat Kelly and Brian Maloney have been very much to the forefront for St.Vincent's, for whom former Dublin All-Ireland winner, Pat Gilroy has also made a big impact.

Coached by former Dubs hero, Mickey Whelan, St.Vincent's are determined to get back on the All-Ireland trail.

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