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Ex-Crues ace Doherty now eyes glory in a new code

 

Harry Doherty
Harry Doherty
John Campbell

By John Campbell

When Crusaders lifted the Irish Cup earlier in the year, goalkeeper Harry Doherty kept a clean sheet in their 3-0 win over Ballinamallard United.

Right now, though, Doherty is on the trail of another medal but in a different code.

It's with Donegal champions Buncrana that Doherty is still keeping clean sheets in the Ulster Junior Club Football Championship as they gear up for a huge semi-final challenge against Tyrone champions Rock.

Doherty's agility and safe handling were very much in evidence when Buncrana overcame Armagh champions Collegeland last Sunday (1-14 to 0-9) to book their place in the last four.

But the 23-year-old custodian, who has already won a Donegal County Championship medal, is fully aware this Rock outfit will represent a tough obstacle for his side.

"Any team that wins a Championship in Tyrone is worthy of the highest respect," says Doherty.

"While it was great for us to get over Collegeland, we know that Rock will be a different proposition altogether."

Doherty was understudy to Sean O'Neill at Crusaders before he got his chance in the first team and the Irish Cup final line-up.

"I have a lot to thank Crusaders manager Stephen Baxter for," he reflects. "I got great encouragement, my game improved and I had luck on my side in certain respects, if the truth be told.

"But now my focus is on trying to win the Ulster Junior Club Championship with Buncrana. There is a tremendous spirit within the side and it's this togetherness which has helped to take us to where we are."

Rock powered past Derry champions Glack by 2-15 to 0-6 in their quarter-final meeting last weekend, underlining that they are in pole position to lift the title.

Meanwhile, the Ulster Club Intermediate and Junior Hurling Championship semi-finals will be played this Saturday.

In the Intermediate series, Tyrone champions Eoghan Rua will meet Armagh title-holders Keady at Pairc Esler, Newry (2.30pm), while St Enda's and Bredagh will meet in the other semi-final at Lamh Dhearg (2.30pm).

In the Junior Championship semi-finals, Eoghan Rua (Derry) will take on Monaghan champions Inniskeen at Lamh Dhearg (12.45pm), while Gort na Mona (Antrim) will face Newry Shamrocks at Ballela (2.30pm).

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