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St Patrick's are striving to clinch more silverware

By John Campbell

Former Armagh star Malachy Mackin is playing his part in helping to unearth fresh talent for his county.

Mackin is part of the St Patrick's, Cullyhanna management team that will send their side into tomorrow's quarter-final of the Paddy McLarnon U21 club football tournament against St Joseph's (Cavan) at Pairc Ui Ciceam, Creggan (2.00pm).

And the south Armagh outfit are hoping to build on their triumph in the Armagh championship although they will be confronting a Breffni outfit that is an amalgamation of three clubs.

With St Eunan's, Letterkenny having already beaten St Peter's, Warrenpoint in the competition and Watty Graham's, Glen limbering up for what should be a thrilling last four tie against Scotstown next weekend, the competition is rapidly gathering steam.

Tony McCollum, chairman of host club Kickhams Creggan, believes that it serves as a further bridge-builder between the minor and senior ranks.

He said: "I think that this competition provides a platform for young players to show their skills.

"When you note that the Watty Graham's side will include many of their hugely successful minor squad and you see that St Joseph's have pulled together the best players from three different clubs, you know just how seriously the tournament is being taken."

This is the fifth year of the event which has now grown considerably in status and McCollum believes that the three remaining quarter-finals will have particular appeal.

Meanwhile, Armagh and Derry will contest the inaugural Conor McGurk Memorial Hurling tournament final, which is being hosted by Queen's University.

Armagh have shown impressive form in the competition to date having beaten Down on a scoreline of 2-18 to 1-14 while they had a runaway 6-17 to 0-9 win over Queen's.

But Derry have also been hitting the high spots as they also have overcome both Down and Queen's.

New Armagh manager Sylvester McConnell has been leaning on a battery of his more experienced players throughout the tournament, including Declan Coulter, Conor Corvan, Ryan Gaffney and Cathal Carville.

Derry's arrival in the Conor McGurk Memorial Tournament final coincides with a very welcome substantial financial boost for a major hurling coaching initiative within the county.

Belfast Telegraph

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