Coleraine are sure to make a big splash in Ulster showdown
They're a bit different in Coleraine.
They're a bit different in Coleraine.
Any possible investigation into occurrences during the win over Coalisland in the Ulster quarter-final appear to have come to nought as Crossmaglen Rangers have a full panel to select from for this weekend's clash with Gaoth Dobhair.
It's all happening just now for Trillick ladies football captain Cathy Donnelly - and she is hoping there is more to come.
Limavady Wolfhounds may go into tonight's Ulster Club Junior Football Championship final against Red Hughs from Donegal at Celtic Park, Derry (7.00pm) under something of a cloud now that they are losing Callum Brown to the AFL, but they can certainly take comfort from some impressive statistics.
ULSTER SENIOR CLUB FOOTBALL CHAMPIONSHIP
The McGilligan family is hoping to celebrate a possible double feat today.
Tony Kernan is hoping to make up for lost time when Crossmaglen Rangers face Donegal champions Gaoth Dobhiar in Sunday's Ulster Club Senior Football Championship second semi-final at Healy Park Omagh (3.30pm).
When dual code ace Joe Maskey suffered a serious ankle injury at the start of the summer, it was thought that his involvement with both St Enda's and Antrim had been terminated for this year.
The notion that a second-tier All-Ireland Senior Football Championship would fail to have appeal for players has been firmly rebuked by Antrim manager Lenny Harbinson.
Limavady Wolfhounds may possess a stellar talent in Australia-bound Callum Brown for Saturday's Ulster Junior Club Championship Football Final against Donegal champions Red Hughs but it could prove to be his last match for the side.
First, the rule regarding kickouts fell by the wayside.
First impressions are important and all that, but if you stumbled upon this page, took a quick glance at my imposing byline picture and thought to yourself, 'that looks like a stern chap indeed. I wonder what Shibboleth he wants to tear down, what pomposity he wants to expose, how will he demonstrate that, in fact, the Emperor is indeed wearing no clothes?'
While those leaving the Athletic Grounds on Sunday would have held special sympathies for Cushendall's injury-stricken Arron Graffin, manager Eamon Gillan told the story afterwards about the journey his defensive colleague Martin Burke has made over the course of 2018.
The proposal to 'sin bin' a Gaelic footballer who has picked up a second yellow card has been dropped by the committee charged with overseeing a raft of experiments in the game which are being put before Central Council next week.
It's never over until the fat lady sings and she certainly warbled a joyous refrain for Castleblayney when they stunned Cushendun in the second-half to claim the Ulster junior hurling championship title at the Athletic Grounds, Armagh yesterday.
St Gall's claimed a seven-point win over Keady at Newry yesterday to claim their second Ulster Club IHC title.
Ruairi Ógs Cushendall secured their 11th Ulster senior hurling title in front of a healthy 3,742 attendance at the Athletic Grounds, but may be counting the cost of that win after what looks like a serious injury to their inspirational defender Arron Graffin.
At half-time in the 2016 All-Ireland semi-final, sensing a major shock was on its way with Ruairi Óg Cushendall 1-4 to 0-5 up on Sarsfields, the underdogs' support broke into a couple of verses of 'The Green Glens of Antrim' in the Navan stands.
The build-up to the Ulster Intermediate club final has had the distinct hue that St Gall's are in a similar situation to Slaughtneil, with a team full of footballers who also hurl, or vice-versa.
Two players who have rendered outstanding service to Armagh over the years are about to take up new roles in the sphere of team management.
The Ulster Council is pressing ahead with plans to ensure that Sunday's provincial senior hurling championship final between Cushendall and Ballycran and the concluding stages of the club football championship help to end the season on a high despite the unsavoury events that marred last weekend's club football quarter-final between Crossmaglen and Coalisland.
Former Antrim football manager Frank Fitzsimons is currently in hot pursuit of more success in a rather different environment.
Both Crossmaglen Rangers and Coalisland Fianna could suffer further sanctions if, as expected, the Ulster Council launches a detailed probe into last Saturday night's Ulster Club quarter-final between the sides at the Athletic Grounds, Armagh.
There we were in the auditorium of the Tyrone GAA Centre in Garvaghey on Monday evening, for a lecture delivered by Dr Donal McAnallen, when a sheet was being circulated through the audience requesting you enter your name, email address and what club or society you come from.
The season of second comings looks set to add another name to the list with Antrim expected to appoint Kevin Ryan for a surprise return with the Saffron hurlers in 2019.
Scotstown goalkeeper Rory Beggan has shown that he will not be deterred by the chorus of criticism that came his way in the wake of his maiden All-Star last week.
Peter Healy may not have captured too many honours in the colours of Antrim, but he is currently proving a dynamic influence within the St Enda's side that is launching a viable bid for the Ulster club intermediate football title.
On marginal calls does a club hang their dreams of provincial club glory. One such example denied Burren a chance of what would have been an unlikely victory here after a stirring comeback that brought them from seven points down to within touching distance of an Ulster semi-final.
When Aaron Kernan was handed the captain's armband at the start of this year, he vowed to do his utmost to help the club recapture the glory in which Crossmaglen Rangers basked for two decades from the mid '90s.
Coleraine's Eoghan Rua survived a second half scare to advance to a last four meeting with Scotstown after an excellent contest at Kingscourt.
Goath Dobhair booked their place in the Ulster Club semi-final yesterday, but they were pushed all the way by a gallant Cargin side at Corrigan Park.
Any celebrations that Tyrone defender Padraig Hampsey might have been tempted to enjoy while picking up his first All-Star last night will have been severely curtailed by the prospect of facing Crossmaglen in the Ulster Club Championship less than 24 hours later.
Dublin midfield ace Brian Fenton, a driving force in the team's fourth consecutive All-Ireland title triumph, has won the coveted Footballer of the Year award.
Joe Maskey has certainly endured contrasting sporting fortunes to date this year.
Former Antrim ace Kieran McGourty is playing his part in helping to nurture a fresh generation of talent in the county.
When Coalisland Fianna clinched the Tyrone senior football championship title for the second time in eight years last month, they knew the really hard work was just about to start.
Conor McManus worries that there is "too much tinkering" with football heading into 2019 and he fears that some of the proposed rules could cost counties dearly.
In an era in which players tend to talk much but reveal little, Cargin's dynamic wing-back Tony Scullion prefers to wear his heart on his sleeve.
It is a measure of the manner in which the All-Stars concept is involved that in the 2018 team which has just been revealed, Tyrone make up two-thirds of the full-back line, Monaghan provide three players and Donegal lob in a rather surprising representative.
Sean Leo McGoldrick perhaps best embodies the spirit that has taken Eoghan Rua, Coleraine to their second Derry Senior Football Championship title in eight years.
Long after midnight on Sunday, the big jovial Italian-Norwegian figure stood in a bar in the Glens of Antrim, toasting the sunny day, hurling and the success of the locals, Ruairi Óg Cushendall.
When the end for Slaughtneil came, you had a sense it was always going to be brutal.
A word of warning for those of you picking your All-Star teams from the moment the final whistle was blown in the All-Ireland final.
Ruairi Óg Cushendall's bid for Ulster glory could well be affected by the fact that their goal-scoring hero from the weekend - Conor Carson - is this week embarking on an intensive course to become a commercial pilot.
While it was emotional for Ruairi Óg Cushendall to win their first Volunteer Cup in three years, spare a thought for their manager Eamon Gillan who took over this year.
Antrim teams remain very much to the fore in the sprint to Ulster club hurling championship honours.
There will be a new Ulster club champion this season after Ballycran dethroned holders Slaughtneil at Corrigan Park, defeating the Derry men by 10 points. James Coyle hit two goals for the Down champions, while free-takers Scott Nicholson and Colum McManus hit six points apiece for the winners.
The other big hurling match of the weekend is the Ulster club semi-final between Ballycran and Ulster champions, Slaughtneil in Corrigan Park on Sunday, 2.30pm.
First up, you have to ask Neil McManus about 'that' handpass.
Slaughtneil manager Michael McShane will put his faith in no fewer than 10 dual players for Sunday's Ulster Club Hurling Championship semi-final against Down champions Ballycran at Corrigan Park, Belfast (2.30pm).
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