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Crossmaglen Rangers duo primed for Munster mission

By John Campbell

Crossmaglen Rangers joint managers Tony McEntee and Gareth O'Neill will put tomorrow's Munster senior club football championship final between UCC and Dr Crokes under the microscope.

Rangers are due to meet the winners of this game in February in the All Ireland club semi-final and the management duo aim to have their homework done in advance.

But McEntee concedes that even a "forensic examination" of tomorrow's contest at Fitzgerald Stadium, Killarney will guarantee his newly-crowned Ulster champions nothing in the All Ireland arena.

"We know for sure that whoever we meet it will take a much bigger performance from what we have been delivering lately if we are to make it into the All Ireland club final," observes McEntee.

Dr Crokes, of course, include Colm Cooper, rated the best forward in the game, in their attack as well as his Kerry All Ireland winning colleague.

Even on a 'quiet' day Cooper can prove lethal as Moyle Rovers discovered in the Munster club semi-final. The Tipperary side had managed to contain the Kingdom wizard for 50 minutes but in the last 10 minutes of that match he scored four points that transformed a one-point deficit into a three-point victory (0-12 to 0-9).

UCC will find themselves confronted by two of their own tomorrow. Daithi Casey and Johnny Buckley are key members of the university side but they will be lining out with Dr Crokes, their home town club, tomorrow.

"This will add an extra dimension to the game," muses Tony McEntee, "There are a number of excellent players on both teams and the expectation is that this will be a top-class club tie. It will certainly provide us with a further insight as to what we can expect to meet when February comes round."

Paul Geaney, Stephen O'Brien, Gavin O'Grady and Gavin Ryan are key players in the UCC side which will have Will Kennedy and Jamie O'Sullivan at midfield.

"As well as these two fine Munster sides, Connacht champions St Brigid's and the four Leinster semi-finalists are still in the All Ireland frame which shows the overall quality of the field," adds Tony McEntee.

Belfast Telegraph


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