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Ballymacnab hoping Grugan boys can shoot them into final

John Campbell

By John Campbell

When Ballymacnab meet Granemore in the Armagh Senior Football Championship semi-final at the Athletic Grounds this evening (5pm), the Grugan brothers Rory and Jack will once again help to spearhead their attack.

Yet their respective careers have tended to take different paths to date. While Rory has been skippering Armagh of late, Jack has been more than content to restrict his input into being a capable scoring ace at club level.

He has had a huge input to date as Ballymacnab have progressed to the last four and they will be meeting next door neighbours in Granemore, who have never won the Championship title, today.

Ballymacnab reached last year's final in which they were beaten by Crossmaglen Rangers but the scent of success is again in their nostrils.

As well as the Grugan brothers they can look to Ryan Kennedy and Gavin McParland for inspiration, while Granemore will take their lead from former county player Kieran Toner and Pete Carr.

Meanwhile, Crossmaglen Rangers have shown considerable zest in their Championship campaign to date and when they renew their rivalry with Maghery in tonight's other semi-final (7pm) they will be bidding to take another big step towards retaining the title they recaptured last year.

While the side has undergone a number of changes in personnel under current boss Kieran Donnelly, it's the O'Neill brothers Oisin and Rian who continue to wield a big influence while Aaron Kernan, Kyle Carragher and Johnny Hanratty continue to lend an experienced edge to the side.

In overcoming Silverbridge at the quarter-final stage, the Rangers looked comfortable and won with some degree of comfort with the O'Neill duo prominent throughout in a one-sided second half.

But the Rangers are highly unlikely to find things as straightforward against Maghery tonight even though there is some degree of doubt surrounding the participation of Aidan Forker, who is normally the team's driving force.

In the Derry Senior Football Championship, meanwhile, Banagher will face O'Donovan Rossa at Owenbeg tonight (6.30pm) while Slaughtneil and Glen will lock horns tomorrow.

Banagher and O'Donovan Rossa have proved the surprise packets of the competition to date and their clash is laced with intrigue, while Slaughtneil will face a stiff test against a Glen side that is sprinkled with real experience.

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