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Caution is the key for Slaughtneil: O'Doherty

 

By John Campbell

Slaughtneil aim to land what would be their fourth Derry Senior football championship title on the trot when they face Ballinascreen in tomorrow's final at Celtic Park.

This homely club tucked away in the Sperrins has been very much to the fore in recent years not just at domestic level but in a national context having reached the All-Ireland club finals in 2015 and this year.

But the team are picking their steps carefully just now as they bid to remain on their Oak Leaf throne. Cormac O'Doherty is a key forward along with Paul Bradley and Sé McGuigan.

"The experience of having reached two All-Ireland finals can still stand to us but we are taking nothing for granted," insists O'Doherty, "It's a whole new ball game against Ballinascreen this time out."

Ballinascreen, who will be powered by Benny Heron, Carlus McWilliams and Dermot McBride, have to go back to 1973 for their last county title triumph.

Meanwhile, the race to the Tyrone senior football championship title will be stepped up over today and tomorrow.

Tonight Clonoe will have Conor McAliskey back in action after a lengthy lay-off when they face Pomeroy at Dungannon (7.30). Red Hands aces Michael O'Neill and Declan McClure will also help bolster the Clonoe outfit with Pomeroy looking to three sets of brothers - Frank and Brendan Burns, Hugh Pat and Kieran McGeary and John and Ryan Loughran - for inspiration.

Tomorrow two of the former giants of Tyrone football, Errigal Ciaran and Carrickmore, will meet at Pomeroy (6.00) while Omagh St Enda's will confront Greencastle.

The Antrim and Down senior hurling championship finals are down for decision tomorrow.

Dunloy oppose Cushendall in the Antrim decider at Ballycastle (3.30) while Ballygalget and Portaferry will meet in the Down shoot-out at Ballycran (3.00).

Paul Shiels, Conal Cunning, Nigel Elliott and Kevin Molloy will underpin Dunloy's bid for glory while Neil McManus, Aaron Graffin, Ryan McCambridge and Conor Carson can provide the impetus for Cushendall to lift the title.

Ballygalget, meanwhile, will look to the McManus brothers John and Declan, Danny Toner, Gareth Johnston and Caolan Bailie for inspiration while Portaferry will hope that Conor O'Neill, Caloan Taggart, Conor O'Prey, Paul Braniff and Eoghan Sands can set the tone for their performance.

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