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Former Derry manager Brennan blazing hat-trick trail

By John Campbell

Former Derry manager John Brennan will put his enviable record with the Cargin club on the line tonight at Ahoghill.

Brennan, who was in charge of the Oak Leaf County before making way for Brian McIver, guided Cargin to the Antrim Senior Football Championship title in 1999 and 2000 without losing a game and now that he is back for another term in charge he is keen to keep a clean sheet.

But with reigning champions St Gall's in the opposite corner, Brennan faces a huge task in striving to take Cargin to the top again.

He is fortunate, though, in that he has rich resources from which to choose for a game which could prove a defining element in the championship.

"We have a mix of experienced and younger players and it's about getting the right blend. Obviously St Gall's will be keen to keep their title but we have belief in our own ability," states Brennan.

The McCann brothers, Michael and Tómas, Justin Crozier, Tony Scullion, Kevin O'Boyle and Michael Magill form the backbone of the Cargin side while St Gall's will look to Sean Kelly, Michael Pollock, Karol Stewart, Terry O'Neill and ace marksman CJ McGourty for inspiration.

Also tonight Kickhams Creggan will confront St Mary's (Ahoghill) at Moneyglass where the former will be favourites to advance.

Casements Portglenone hope to continue their recent good form when they take on Lamh Dhearg tomorrow.

The former will be bolstered by Antrim skipper Niall McKeever, a former Australian Rules player, as well as Niall Delargy, Martin McAleese and Paddy Kelly.

Lamh Dhearg include the Murray brothers, Conor and Ryan, both of whom represented Antrim this year, as well as Declan Lynch and John Finucane.

Also tomorrow, O'Donovan Rossa, under the baton of former Antrim ace Paul Close, will take on St James's (Aldergrove) in what should prove an interesting contest between two sides anxious to make their mark.

IRELAND International Rules manager Joe Kernan will conduct his first squad session tonight in preparation for the November 21 showdown with Australia.

But tomorrow's Kerry v Mayo All-Ireland semi-final replay at Croke Park means he will be missing numerous candidates.

"Obviously the semi-final replay will see our numbers trimmed but there are 20 Ulster players in our initial squad and the door is open to everyone to make their pitch for a place when the squad is reduced next month," points out Kernan.

Tonight's session will take place at the Ashbourne-Donaghmore club in Meath and will be the first of several that will be overseen by Kernan and his selectors.

Belfast Telegraph


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