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Kilcoo keen to strike a big blow for Down pride on Ulster stage

By John Campbell

Whisper it softly but Kilcoo's ambitions have extended beyond landing a possible fifth Down Senior Football Championship title on the trot.

While Paul McIver's side are totally focused on Sunday's county final showdown with Clonduff, the team's ambition to make its presence felt in the Ulster Club Championship will undoubtedly prove an extra spur in their bid to remain as the leading lights in their own territory.

Kilcoo's stunning consistency in Down has earned the club considerable admiration but more than an element of frustration has been triggered by their failure to occupy the provincial throne.

Manager McIver, who has watched his side progress steadily through the current championship and expects to have something approaching a full hand from which to deal for Sunday's mission, nonetheless adheres rigidly to his one game at a time policy.

The return of the Johnston brothers Ryan and Jerome and the form of players such as Daragh O'Hanlon, Paul Devlin, Niall Branagan and Conor Laverty has helped to infuse further confidence within a Kilcoo squad that embodies youth and experience.

Clonduff manager Ross Carr, an All-Ireland medal winner with Down in 1991 and 1994, is not short on talent, though.

Darren O'Hagan, Henry Brown, Aidan Carr and Barry O'Hagan represent a seasoned core within the side which showed considerable courage in overcoming Bryansford.

Belfast Telegraph


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