Guinness keen to see Carryduff drink to success with U21 triumph
Daniel Guinness is certainly making a name for himself in the Mourne county right now.
Daniel Guinness is certainly making a name for himself in the Mourne county right now.
Down manager Paddy Tally is inching towards formulating a settled side which might ensure that they retain their place in Division Two of the Allianz Football League.
The Allianz Football League will now enter a two-week break but for Down manager Paddy Tally this simply means more work than ever.
There has always been the feeling since the opening day of the season that if and when Down boss Paddy Tally was able to field a potent mix of youth and experience then results would improve.
Down, Derry, Tyrone and Armagh all came good in the Allianz Hurling League yesterday and in the process strengthened their individual claims for promotion.
Down manager Paddy Tally will be forced to do without the services of defender Ryan McAleenan for a few weeks following a leg injury incurred in the Allianz Football League Division Three defeat to Laois last Sunday.
Down manager Paddy Tally was under no illusions that he was shouldering a big burden of responsibility when he agreed to succeed Eamonn Burns as Down football boss.
It is often said that there is no substitute for experience and new Down boss Paddy Tally has cause to reflect on this following what was a chastening exercise for his new-look side in this Allianz League Division Three setback against Laois.
Down hurling boss Ronan Sheehan is keeping his fingers crossed that his side can point the way to progress this year by overcoming Ulster University in tonight's Conor McGurk Cup final at The Dub, Belfast (7.00pm).
Donal McCarthy has a special reason for hoping that his Clann Eireann side can make an impact in the Ulster Club U21 Football Tournament which gets under way today at the Kickhams Creggan club near Randalstown.
It may be viewed as a showcase for new talent but this Bank of Ireland Dr McKenna Cup fixture at Pairc Esler, Newry yesterday underlined the role that more mature players can fulfil in the push for success.
Down may be venturing into potentially difficult waters in Division Three of the Allianz Football League but Kilcoo club man Paul Devlin believes that a spirited Bank of Ireland Dr McKenna Cup itinerary can inculcate the necessary confidence and resolve for the second most important competition in the fixtures calendar.
New Down boss Paddy Tally is bracing himself for the biggest challenge of his sporting career to date.
There are two words in the dictionary calculated to send a shiver down the spine of most managers irrespective of what level at which they operate and those words are 'global travel'.
In a year which will mark the 25th anniversary of their last Ulster Senior Football Championship title, Down will commence operations by launching their battle to extricate themselves from the unfamiliar surroundings of Division Three of the Allianz Football League.
Former Down All-Ireland winner Paddy Doherty is urging referees to take a much firmer line with players who engage in violent acts during matches.
The Down Competitions Control Committee has moved quickly in a determined bid to help eradicate the violence which has permeated the GAA club scene in Ulster spanning recent weeks.
As the GAA in Ulster in particular absorbs the brickbats which have come its way in the wake of an unprecedented rash of violent incidents, Kilcoo are quietly laying their plans to rewrite the Down history books.
Steven Poacher may be Turlough O'Brien's right-hand man in Carlow but he remains Down through and through.
Another GAA club match in Ulster has been overshadowed by scenes of violence.
Kilcoo may have their sights on what would be a seventh successive Down senior football championship title but they have suddenly been confronted by a rather more formidable barrier than had been anticipated in their quest.
Kilcoo can take a step nearer what would be an unimagined feat when they face Cumman Naomh Peader, Warrenpoint in the second of the Down senior football championship semi-finals at Pairc Esler, Newry tonight (7pm).
Just as is the case in life itself, the GAA can offer more than its share of haves and have-nots.
Down's camogs found themselves in a similar position to defeated senior counterparts Kilkenny after the All-Ireland finals, left fuming at what they believe were some poor refereeing decisions, with Sarah-Louise Carr dismissed at a crucial stage of the second half.
Niamh Mallon has a particular reason for hoping that the advances currently being made in the training and preparation of camogie teams can be brought to a new level.
The appointment of new county football team managers is suddenly akin to waiting for a bus - nothing appears for a period and then two come along at once.
Down certainly did not enjoy the start they had hoped for when they met Clare in Group 3 Round 1 of the All-Ireland Ladies' Intermediate Football Championship last weekend.
While some players encounter difficulties in fulfilling their obligations to one code, Carryduff dual star Jessica Foy continues to comfortably serve two masters.
Down may have fretted that lady luck tended to desert them in an Allianz League campaign that yielded nothing but disappointment in relegation to Division Three, but it was nothing to the utter heartbreak they suffered in this fraught All-Ireland qualifier.
The route to championship redemption is proving a difficult path to pursue just now. If in any doubt, just ask Antrim or Derry.
Down manager Eamonn Burns hopes tonight to put the finishing touches to his strategy for Sunday's all-important Ulster Senior Football Championship semi-final against Donegal.
Down eased past a disappointing Antrim challenge in Pairc Esler, Newry on Saturday night to book their Ulster Football Championship semi-final place.
Down may have enjoyed an early cruise in the Christy Ring Cup when they demolished Armagh by 6-21 to 0-11 at the weekend, but manager Martin Mallon acknowledges his side will face a much stiffer test against London on Sunday.
Former Down ace Benny Coulter is urging the GAA authorities to alter the entire structure of the All-Ireland championship but Armagh exile Jamie Clarke, in contrast, can hardly wait for the action to begin.
Derry and Ulster club football champions Slaughtneil provide four players on the first ever AIB GAA Club Players' football team of the championship.
As the fall-out from Down's shock demotion to Division Three of the Allianz Football League reverberates around the county, there are growing fears for the team's ability to make an impact in the Ulster Championship.
The post-mortems are only just beginning following Down's demotion to Division Three of the Allianz Football League even though they concluded their campaign at the weekend by getting the better of Tipperary by 2-11 to 1-11.
For a team that has returned with the spoils of victory from two traditionally intimidating outposts in recent weeks, Down footballers will rather perversely view their do-or-die re-scheduled mission against Tipperary at Pairc Esler, Newry tomorrow with considerable trepidation.
Down manager Eamonn Burns will be nervously awaiting the contents of the referee's report from Saturday night's Division Two clash with Cavan, with a possible suspension looming.
This is a match Down manager Eamonn Burns will want to forget about quickly, especially if he finds himself in trouble after tempers frayed at half-time.
Down manager Eamonn Burns always knew that travelling to face Cavan in Division Two of the Allianz Football League would be an arduous test.
Down's marked inability to maximise home advantage in Division Two of the Allianz Football League could yet see them sacrifice their prospects of promotion to the top tier.
Down manager Eamonn Burns saw his team’s hopes of promotion back into the top tier of the Allianz Football League take a knock yesterday when they lost to Cork by 1-13 to 0-10 at Pairc Esler, Newry.
A late Niall Toner goal snatched victory from the jaws of defeat for Derry at a very cold and fog-blanketed Celtic Park.
Down manager Eamonn Burns is poised to inject a further raft of fresh talent into his side as the countdown begins in earnest to the Bank of Ireland Dr McKenna Cup competition.
When the GAA took the bold decision to introduce a new format for the All-Ireland senior football championship quarter-finals, embracing the next three years on an experimental basis, it triggered a largely positive reaction.
The draw for the first round of the Sigerson Cup has thrown up a fascinating all-Belfast clash between holders St Mary's University College and University of Ulster.
Down may have retained their status in Division Two of the Allianz League and reached the Ulster senior football championship final this year, but this does not mask the fact that difficulties are currently being experienced at grassroots level within the county.
Kilcoo not only won the Spirit of Paul McGirr U16 Cup decider by beating Crossmaglen Rangers by 3-8 to 0-9 at Gardrum Park, Dromore yesterday but they proved beyond all doubt that they are true goal specialists.
Former Down player Shane Mulholland has never been one to pull his punches.
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