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Down ace O'Hare knows the score as Ulster's leading marksman in league

 

Net gains: Donal O’Hare is pointing the way for Down
Net gains: Donal O’Hare is pointing the way for Down
John Campbell

By John Campbell

With the exception of Derry, no Ulster side has been assured of promotion in the Allianz Football League to date.

The various permutations surrounding promotion and relegation issues will be put to the test in the final round of games in all four divisions this weekend but, in the meantime, the province can take considerable encouragement from what is healthy representation in the overall and divisional scoring charts to date.

No fewer than three Ulster players are included in the overall top scorers list, with Down's Donal O'Hare out in front with a huge 4-22.

O'Hare has been the epitome of consistency since the start of the league and is only one of two players in the competition to have hit the net on four occasions, the other being Shane McGuigan.

Hot on O'Hare's heels, though, are Conor McManus (Monaghan) with 0-33 and Antrim sharpshooter Ryan Murray, who has accumulated 2-23 to date.

Tyrone's Peter Harte is among the elite Division One marksmen with 2-21, while Sean Quigley with 1-17 and Michael Langan with 0-17 are very much to the fore in Division Two.

Harte has been in the spotlight with the Red Hands and as well as proving a very capable finisher he has also orchestrated many other scores for his side.

But it's in the Division Four returns to date that Ulster names tend to dominate.

With Murray out in front, Derry duo Christopher Bradley (1-21) and McGuigan (4-11) have made a big impact in their team's surge into Division Three as well as the Division Four final in which they will meet Leitrim on Saturday week in Croke Park.

The Slaughtneil duo have certainly made their mark in the Oak Leaf side, leaving manager Damian McErlain in buoyant mood as he contemplates what he hopes will prove a fitting climax to the league with the capture of the Division Four title.

And although Antrim, in contrast, may have found the going rather tough in the competition to date, the Saffrons provide a second player in the leading scorers list with Patrick McBride's 1-13 fully meriting his inclusion.

The former defender has been one of the most consistent players in Lenny Harbinson's team this year having morphed into an influential attacking force.

The overall top scorer is Kerry whizzkid Sean O'Shea, who has pocketed 0-45 and looks set to improve further on this total as his side still have their last scheduled fixture to fulfil against struggling Roscommon, as well as an anticipated appearance in the league final.

O'Shea has made a big impact in Kerry's colours and his enormous contribution to date has had much to do with his team's explosive start to the season.

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