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Ulster counties step up the pace in bid to stay in promotion race


Away bonus: Ronan Sheehan’s Down hit the heights against Wicklow
Away bonus: Ronan Sheehan’s Down hit the heights against Wicklow
John Campbell

By John Campbell

Down, Derry, Tyrone and Armagh all came good in the Allianz Hurling League yesterday and in the process strengthened their individual claims for promotion.

It was Ronan Sheehan's Down side who perhaps shone the brightest against Wicklow, and their 1-23 to 0-15 win hints at better things.

Derry scored 3-18 to Donegal's 0-12, while Armagh beat Lancashire by 2-14 to 0-12. Tyrone, too, were very much on song, beating Louth by 2-23 to 1-11.

In the ladies National Football League, Down just managed to get the better of Offaly by a score of 6-7 to 3-12.

Elsewhere, Armagh proved too strong for Laois, winning by 5-13 to 1-10, while Cavan and Tyrone finished all-square with the Breffni side landing 0-13 and the Red Hand girls scoring 3-4.

A plethora of present and former football stars, as well as a smattering of VIP's, assembled at the weekend to honour the achievements of Tyrone legend Sean Cavanagh.

Among his contemporaries who lauded his exploits for club and county were Ryan McMenamin, Conor Gormley, Kieran McGeeney, Paul McGrane and Paul Finlay.

Carryduff and St Dympna's Dromore will meet in the Ulster U21 Club Tournament final following their semi-final wins over St Brigid's and O'Donovan Rossa Magherafelt respectively.

The Quinn Building Products Ulster GAA Writers Association annual awards presentation banquet has taken place and the major honours were carried off by Rory Beggan (Footballer of the Year) and Neil McManus (Hurler of the Year).

Other awards presented were: Team of the Year (Slaughtneil), Club of the Year (St Enda's Glengormley), Personality: Kevin Cassidy (Gaoth Dobhair), Female Footballer: Neamh Woods (Tyrone), Communications (Noel Duffy, Monaghan), Young Achiever: Aaron Mulligan (Latton/Monaghan), Camogie: Niamh Mallon (Down), Services to the GAA: Seamus O'Hare (Antrim), Cultural award: Sean McCann (Armagh), Handball: Conor McElduff (Tyrone).

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