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Clubs to serve up some tasty treats

By John Campbell

The forthcoming Ulster club football series, a competition that has gained considerably in status in recent years, certainly holds rich promise given the quality of games that are pending in the various county championships.

The draws for the semi-finals of the Down and Derry championships have thrown up some potentially fascinating contests.

Reigning Down champions Kilcoo are going for their third title on the trot and now that they have been drawn against former championship aristocrats Mayobridge in the last four, the competition has assumed a whole new dynamic.

With Burren and Longstone due to meet in the other semi-final, it would be difficult to script a more appealing narrative in relation to the penultimate stage of the competition.

In the Derry championship, Coleraine Eoghan Rua, champions four years ago, will meet current title-holders Ballinderry while Dungiven or Glenullin will meet Kilrea or Slaughtneil in the other semi-final with the final scheduled for October 6.

And not to be outdone, Fermanagh have come up with a particularly tasty dish now that Teemore will meet Devenish in a semi-final next Sunday that will have Erne followers out in their thousands.

With Crossmaglen Rangers on course to further extend their dominance in Armagh and St Gall's sights firmly focused on what would be an eighth successive Antrim crown, the stage is set for a thrilling climax to the championships in both counties.

Ballinderry are the current Ulster club champions but are well aware that they not only face a difficult battle to retain their Derry crown but will find the provincial championship an even more hazardous minefield should they progress that far.

Crossmaglen Rangers, Ballinderry and St Gall's have all won the All-Ireland club title since 2002 and their continued involvement in the closing stages of their respective county championships underlines their continued consistency.

Belfast Telegraph


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