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Clann Eireann youngsters are all set to light up St Paul's

By Declan Bogue

After the postponements of last week, all six teams in the St Paul's Ulster Minor Football Championship this weekend will be mad for road.

And, with no snow forecast, it is a distinct possibility that the tournament will stay on track for its traditional New Year's Day finish.

First up this weekend is a meeting at high noon of Clann Eireann (Lurgan, Armagh) and St Eunan's of Letterkenny, Donegal, that game being played in the St Paul's Complex.

For many people, Clann Eireann could be expected to win this tournament as they are backboned by a good deal of players who won the prestigious Paul McGirr tournament a couple of seasons back.

They also have Martin McConville back as manager from that triumph, and it won't have escaped their attention that in the one game that was staged a fortnight ago, Belfast's O'Donovan Rossa easily accounted for Killaney of Monaghan. Those two made up the pairing in that 2015 McGirr final and they will be keen to renew acquaintances.

Later on in the day, Ramor United of Virginia, Cavan, are up against Enniskillen Gaels, Fermanagh champions.

While the Cavan lads' manager Ray Cole proclaims his charges are "mad for action", he admits it has been impossible to do a spying job on their county neighbours as the Erne county championship was completed in July.

However, the previous winners cannot be discounted as they provided a significant number of minor players to the county team this year, including Paddy Cassidy, Eoin Beacom, John Reihill, Callum Jones, Cian Newman and Johnny Cassidy.

The biggest crowd of the weekend could be in St Paul's tomorrow, where the exciting young talent Darragh Canavan - son of Peter - will be in action for Tyrone's Errigal Ciaran when they face Ballinascreen of Derry.

Managed by three-time All-Ireland winner Enda McGinley, along with Stephen Quinn, Ruairi McCann and Ciaran Mullan, they won Errigal's first title at this level in 10 years.

However, this will not be enough for this group.

Meanwhile, the Ulster ladies' minor final is taking place tomorrow, with the Canavan family in a quandary as daughter Maria will be in action at the same time representing Errigal Ciaran as her brother will be in the St Paul's Tournament.

They face Clann Eireann of Lurgan in Clones at 1pm.

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