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Ulster Minor Football Championship: Carragher driving Armagh to more glory

By John Campbell

Peter Carragher set the perfect example as captain when he scored the vital goal that underpinned Armagh’s victory over Cavan in the recent Ulster Minor Football Championship semi-final.

Now the strapping midfield ace is hoping for more net gains when he leads the reigning Ulster and All Ireland champions into battle against neighbours Tyrone in tomorrow’s provincial final at Clones (12pm).

One of only two players remaining from last year’s successful side — the other is Ronan Finnegan — Carragher (pictured below) along with Conor Gough will be expected to provide the midfield momentum that could help take their side to back-to-back Ulster crowns.

But although they have beaten Derry, Monaghan and Cavan to date in the competition, Armagh have not quite offered the level of conviction that manager Paul McShane has been seeking.

“We have had some players with niggly injuries but you have to go with what you have in the championship.

“I suppose you could say that we were happy in a sense to have beaten Cavan while playing below-par. But that performance certainly would not do against Tyrone tomorrow,” acknowledges McShane.

Former Armagh senior star Oisin McConville has overseen some Armagh squad training sessions and has been using his motivational skills to help fire up the side for their confrontation with a Tyrone outfit that has accounted for Antrim and Down.

Ronan O’Neill, Thomas Canavan and Ryan Devlin have looked lively in the Red Hands attack while Michael Donaghy and Conor Clarke are solid defenders.

Conan Grugan hs shown himself to be an accomplished midfielder and his battle with the imposing Carragher should certainly be interesting.

Raymond Munroe, the former Tyrone senior player, is the Red Hands manager and, like his counterpart McShane, he is seeking a more rounded display from his side.

“We have made life hard for ourselves and we know that we are going in against a very good side tomorrow,” Munroe admits.

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