Ulster Club Championship: Dawson determined Burren will deliver
Burren manager Frank Dawson watched his side flirt with Ulster club championship glory last year.
Now he wants the Down champions to engage in a full-blown love affair with the competition beginning with victory over Fermanagh champions Roslea tomorrow.
It was against Crossmaglen Rangers just less than a year ago that Burren offered a performance rich in effort and garnished with style, but which in the end just fell short of what was required to see off their opponents.
Since then, Burren have not lost sight of their ambition to reign supreme in Ulster and they can now take a gigantic step in this direction by overcoming Peter McGinnity’s feisty Roslea outfit.
Not surprisingly, the experienced Dawson (pictured) sees tomorrow’s tie as a significant challenge for his team.
“We would like to make it into the semi-finals. We feel we are good enough, but we know we have to deliver a big performance on the day; nothing less will do,” insists the Belfast man.
While Burren must go into battle without the experienced Declan Rooney who is recovering from a cruciate injury, Roslea are stripped of the services of James Sherry following the dislocated jaw he sustained in last Sunday’s All County League final.
These are two high-profile Ulster players who, had they been fit, would surely have wielded a big influence in the game.
As it is, Roslea will look to Sherry’s brother Peter as well as Seamus Quigley, Niall Cassidy and Kevin Cosgrove for leadership. All have shown their skills in Fermanagh’s colours this year, but they will certainly require to step up to the plate tomorrow.
Burren are certainly not short on inspirational players with Kevin McKernan, Daniel McCartan, Anto McArdle, James McGovern, Gerard McCartan, Cathal Murdock and Ciaran McGovern ready to set the tone for their display.
Eoin McCartan, a player whose career has been savagely disrupted by injury, is nonetheless still used as an impact sub and could again fulfil this vital role against a Roslea side that having retained their Fermanagh crown will be particularly keen to make an impact on the provincial stage.
Kevin McKernan, meanwhile, will be charged with holding the Burren defence together following his successful appearances with Ireland in the International Rules series.
It is the power of McKernan, whose explosive bursts forward can hurt opponents and the experience of those around him in defence that have helped to thrust Burren into pole position for this particular tie.
They may be a mixture of comparative youth and experience but the ebullient Down champions, clearly anxious to make a big impression in Ulster this time round, look to have the attributes to terminate Roslea’s provincial title hopes.