Belfast Telegraph

O'Kane is the main Claudy danger

By Bernie Mullan

When Claudy take on neighbours Foreglen in the Intermediate championship semi-final manager Liam Bradley wants to reverse the recent trend which has developed between the sides.

When Claudy take on neighbours Foreglen in the Intermediate championship semi-final manager Liam Bradley wants to reverse the recent trend which has developed between the sides.

That shows a first half completely dominated by Claudy who build a comfortable lead.

But come the second period Foreglen will take control with Darryl O'Kane punching holes in a porous Claudy defence to win comfortably.

Both sides are on the bottom rungs of division two but that should not detract from what should be an exciting clash at Dungiven, starting at 1pm this Sunday.

If Claudy can hold the twin Foreglen strikeforce of O'Kane and goal-grabbing Kevin O'Connor they will come through.

Claudy look to have the edge at midfield through the McNally brothers while up front they have free-scoring forwards in Barry Murphy, Martin Donaghy and Derry senior footballer Gavan Donaghy.

Form suggests Claudy but tradition favours Foreglen.

In the other semi-final at Ballinascreen Coleraine take on a big task when they meet Greenlough who knocked out holders Ballymaguigan by a four-point margin in the quarter-final.

Coleraine disposed of Glack and beat Faughanvale at the second attempt.

Even though manager Sean McGoldrick has improved the side greatly this year with his three sons playing a big part, they will do well to overcome Michael Lagan's strong Greenlough outfit.

For a second successive year the Derry games administration committee gambled on starting the senior championship at the latter end of the season and they are only now at the semi-final stage.

Tomorrow afternoon Greenlough is the venue for the first semi-final between the holders Loup and a fancied Bellaghy.

Loup have had an awful run of injuries since last year and they still have midfield strongman John O'Kane out with a serious knee injury since March.

A serious illness to star forward Ronan Rocks has also ruled him out this season but indications are that the popular Rocks in winning the battle.

To fill the gaps some of their teenage prospects have been thrown in at the deep end but they have done well.

Wins over Newbridge and Banagher may not have set the world alight but they still have the title.

Bellaghy ousted Craigbane and Dungiven at the second attempt.

They are not the force they one were but they are loaded with experience and that could be the telling factor.

Slaughtneil and Ballinderry meet in the other semi-final at Lavey and if it is anything like last year's clash it will be well worth seeing.

On that occasion Ballinderry got through narrowly but Slaughtneil under veteran manager John Brennan, have matured a great deal since then.

They have a very good attack that has been running up big scores all season and they will push Ballinderry all the way.

Slaughtneil scored 0-17 against Glen and 3-12 against Glenullin.

On the other hand Ballinderry had handy wins over Ballinascreen and Castledawson and have not yet been properly tested.

One man who will know Slaughtneil inside out is Ballinderry manager Eugene Kelly who was in charge of Slaughtneil for the previous two seasons.

It is hard to pick a winner but Ballinderry have a greater championship pedigree.

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