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GAA: Charity the real winner

By John Campbell

Sporting ecumenism is alive and well in Armagh.

For several years, the annual gaelic football-cum-rugby clash between the local oval ball representatives and the Pearse Og club for the Donal Powell Cup has been a highlight of the sporting calendar in the Primatial City.

This year the fixture enjoyed considerable status given that a number of high-profile players from both codes were in action in what proved a hugely enjoyable contest.

The Donal Powell Cup, named after a young Pearse Og player who died at an early age, is handed over to the winners by Donal's father Tommy, still an enthusiastic follower of the Ogs.

Indeed, the team had hoped to participated in this annual friendly fixture as county championship title-holders but Crossmaglen Rangers, of course, put paid to that.

Nonetheless, with players of the calibre of former Allstar Ger Houlahan and current Armagh ace Ronan Clarke on view, the match did not lack quality.

Armagh RFC, as is their great tradition, once again were excellent hosts for a match that not only underlined that sport truly has no barriers in the city but that the spirit of charity is far from dead.

"This match seems to have greater appeal with each passing year and we are always indebted to the local rugby club for their wonderful hospitality. We like to think that Donal's memory will live on because of this fixture," says Pearse Og manager Adrian Clarke, father of Ronan.

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