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McKeever and Mayobridge ready to ramp up bid to clinch Down title

 

Title goal: Ciaran McKeever’s men have a big prize in sight
Title goal: Ciaran McKeever’s men have a big prize in sight
John Campbell

By John Campbell

Former Armagh captain Ciaran McKeever is beginning to focus more strongly on the Down Senior Football Championship title now that the Mayobridge side which he manages have reached the quarter-final stages.

They may have achieved their progress the hard way by chiselling out dogged victories over Burren and Loughinisland, but the spirit, composure and commitment which his team showed have given the battle-hardened McKeever considerable encouragement going forward.

Mayobridge were hard pushed before coming out on top against reigning champions Burren (2-16 to 0-18) and if anything came under even heavier fire against Loughinisland before prevailing by 2-16 to 0-18.

They may have conceded rather a lot over the course of the two games but McKeever believes his side can offer more defiance in the last eight.

Cory Quinn is certainly on fire in his attack and looks destined to make further progress in Down's colours in 2020 having made his inter-county debut earlier this year.

Kilcoo, Warrenpoint and Carryduff are the other teams which are through at this stage and the spotlight will focus on this weekend's games, which should see the identity of the other four quarter-final teams confirmed.

Tonight, Clonduff and Bryansford will meet at Pairc Esler (8pm), while tomorrow night Loughinisland and Ballyholland will face off at Tullylish (8pm).

On Monday night, the last two games in this round will be played when Bredagh and Longstone meet at Kilcoo (8pm) and Rostrevor and Burren square up to each other at Clonduff (8pm).

The Rostrevor v Burren clash holds special appeal as Peter McGrath's recalibrated side take on the reigning champions.

Former county kingpins Kilcoo, who are currently under the baton of ex-Slaughtneil boss Mickey Moran, have been gaining in confidence and the fact that they are already in the last eight suggests that they will be making a big effort to claim the silverware once again.

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