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Rostrevor planning special delivery for Crossmaglen

By John Campbell

Rostrevor manager Eamon Devlin candidly admits that his team exceeded expectations in winning the Down minor football championship.

But Devlin quickly acknowledges, too, that success at domestic level can prove a catalyst for glory on the provincial stage.

And that's why he is optimistic that his side can raise their level of performance even higher when they face Crossmaglen Rangers in the quarter-final of the Ulster minor tournament at the St Paul's complex in Belfast on Sunday.

Devlin has watched his side gain in confidence and maturity but accepts that it will take an "extra-special display" if they are to terminate the Rangers' interest in the competition.

"Crossmaglen at any level are always a difficult proposition. They will feel they can build on their triumph in Armagh and we will need to get into our stride very quickly otherwise we will find ourselves chasing the game," warns Devlin. "It will take an extra-special display if we are to win."

Even though his team have proved something of a surprise packet in Down, this should not be allowed to cloud a generous ration of talent. Conal Gordon, Ardghal McMahon and James Rice are key players in a side which boasts pace and a frenetic work-rate.

Rangers manager Kieran Donnelly is conscious that Rostrevor will be seeking to scale a new peak and will have his players on guard for this. "The fact that we have not played for about three months or so could work against us but there will certainly be no complacency in our make-up," he said.

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