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Peter Turley seeks winning feeling with Down

By John Campbell

Peter Turley is having to exercise patience in his bid to win honours with Down.

The Downpatrick clubman is currently a pillar of James McCartan's side and will line out at midfield against Tyrone tomorrow, but if Turley's honours dividends on the inter-county are thin to say the least, then his achievements in another sphere give him cause for encouragement.

Two years ago Turley was a member of the Northern Ireland team that won the Gaelic football tournament played under the auspices of the World Police and Fire Games in New York.

Last year the Games were held in Belfast, but while the Northern Ireland side reached the final again, they found An Garda Siochana rather too slick for them.

Nonetheless, Turley hopes that Down can embody the spirit and enthusiasm of that team tomorrow at Healy Park, Omagh.

"While it was great to win in New York, we maybe did not do ourselves full justice last year. Now I'm just focused on trying to bring success to Down," said Turley.

"We have gone close since James McCartan took over as manager in 2010, but without quite getting over the line in terms of landing a championship trophy."

Down missed out on promotion to Division One of the Allianz League last month, principally because they lost their last two games in the competition to Laois and Meath after they had built up considerable momentum, especially through a surprise win over Donegal.

Like the rest of his colleagues, Turley is itching to sample championship title success and his recollection of last year's qualifier defeat to Derry, after they had previously beaten Brian McIver's side in the Ulster series, still fills him with dismay.

"We were gutted at the time," he candidly admits. "I just think it was a shame we had to play Derry at Celtic Park for the second time. If we had played anyone else, anywhere else, I feel we would have done ourselves justice.

"Going back up there again we were flat. We couldn't lift ourselves."

Turley's rigid commitment and relentless work-rate will bolster Down's strategy, particularly as he can not only help prop up his defence but is well capable of providing support to his attack.

"I don't mind how we win as long we get over the line. A point in injury-time will do us," said Turley.

Belfast Telegraph


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