Belfast Telegraph

Friday 19 September 2014

Ulster Championship: Counties in hot pursuit of glory

County: Antrim
Manager: Liam Bradley
Captain: Kevin O’Boyle
Key player: Tony Scullion (pictured)
Strengths: Fit, energetic and resourceful, the Saffrons play a fast, direct brand of no-frills football. They offer a vibrant team spirit and possess a top-class free-taker in Paddy Cunningham while their confidence is fuelled by the fact that they have acquired a fresh image in the Ulster Championship in more recent times.
Weaknesses: A tendency to concede goals coupled with occasional lapses in concentration has been their undoing in the past. They rely too heavily on just a few players to get scores and need to win much more second-phase possession if they are to make a big impact.
Prediction: They are unlikely to survive their preliminary round meeting with Donegal on Sunday.
Jamie Clarke
County: Tyrone
Manager: Mickey Harte
Captain: Brian Dooher
Key player: Brian McGuigan (pictured)
Strengths: Liberally endowed with physical power, guile and accurate marksmanship. Vast experience since the side is dotted with triple All Ireland winners. The incentive of landing what would be a third provincial crown in succession will almost certainly further hone their drive for more glory.
Weaknesses: Manager Harte discounts the theory that his side is 'ageing' but there are certainly a lot of miles on the cumulative clock. The full-back line has not been as authoritative of late while the overall mobility may be more limited.
Prediction: That third consecutive title is still within the Red Hands' gambit.

The Ulster Senior Football Championship will swing into action on Sunday when Donegal host Antrim and right now all nine counties harbour aspirations of success. John Campbell assesses their prospects in the province’s flagship competition.

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