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Armagh ace Clarke's keeping it in the family

By John Campbell

One of Ulster’s leading footballers and his father are hoping to share in club championship success next month — but it won’t be in the same county.

While orchard county ace Ronan Clarke, crowned Young Player of the Year in 2002 when his side won the All Ireland final, maintains his pursuit of what has to date been an elusive Armagh championship title with Pearse Og, his dad Adrian has brought Carrickmore into the semi-finals of the Tyrone championship.

And while Ronan takes a break this weekend from preparing for the Ogs semi-final with Lurgan side Clan Eireann by watching Armagh do battle for the All Ireland Minor title against Mayo, Adrian will be a more than interested spectator at tomorrow night’s Tyrone quarter-final replay between Errigal Ciaran and Dromore.

His Carrickmore team, with Conor Gormley the midfield anchor, will meet the winners in the last four with Ardboe and Killyclogher crossing swords in the other tie. And Adrian, a former manager of Pearse Og, is keeping an open mind about the outcome of tomorrow’s contest.

“Both Dromore and Errigal Ciaran contain some of the best players in Tyrone like Ryan McMenamin, Enda McGinley, Davy Harte and John Devine so it should be another interesting contest,” he said.

He is keeping his fingers crossed, though, that his team’s semi-final will not clash with that Pearse Og v Clan Eireann contest in Armagh next weekend.

“As well as Ronan, I’ve three other sons — J J, Conor and Ross — all of whom play for Pearse Og and naturally I would like to see them in action,” he said.

Belfast Telegraph


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