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County Championships: McBrien will use agonising near miss as a spur

 

Glory push: Darragh McBrien has his sights on a place in Fermanagh final
Glory push: Darragh McBrien has his sights on a place in Fermanagh final
John Campbell

By John Campbell

When Belnaleck's Darragh McBrien saw his last-gasp free veer away from the posts in last Saturday's drawn Fermanagh Senior Football Championship semi-final against title holders Derrygonnelly, he was disappointed but not distraught.

He may still be only 18 but having helped St Michael's College, Enniskillen win the MacRory and Hogan Cups this year as well as having adorned the colours of Ballinamallard United, McBrien has already compiled a sporting CV that has also persuaded him to accept success and failure in equal measure.

And that's why he will have a key role in tonight's replay at Brewster Park, Enniskillen (7pm), where Belnaleck aim to prove that the robust challenge they mounted to Derrygonnelly's drive for five ambitions last weekend was no flash in the pan.

The supremely talented Cullen brothers Che and Lee and the hugely impressive Kane Connor along with Ciaran McBrien and Darragh McGurn are all expected to step to the fore as Belnaleck relaunch their quest to reach the decider.

Derrygonnelly, of course, under the shrewd tutelage of Sean Flanagan, remain suitably equipped to extend their dominance within the county.

The Jones clan - Garvan, Ryan and Conall - along with Eamon McHugh and Shane McGullion can enhance their bid to land title No.5.

In the other semi-final replay, Roslea will renew rivalry with Tempo (5pm) hoping that scoring ace Sean Quigley can replicate the form he showed in last week's drawn game when he posted seven points.

Damien Kelly's opportunist goal proved the launch pad for a Tempo revival after the Shamrocks looked home and hosed at 0-9 to 0-4 and it could be equally tense tonight.

Aidan Breen has long since been an inspirational figure for Tempo and can step up to the mark again.

Should the side respond to his promptings and keep the mercurial Quigley in check, then they could take the big step into the final.

In the LCC Tyrone Senior Football Championship today, Red Hands goalkeeper Niall Morgan can inspire Edendork in an outfield role when they take on newcomers Tattyreagh at Dunmoyle (1pm), Omagh St Enda's face Dungannon Clarkes also at Dunmoyle (2.30pm) and Carrickmore will take on Derrylaughan at Pomeroy (6.30pm).

There are two particularly attractive matches in the Down Senior Football Championship on Monday night when Bredagh will oppose Longstone at Kilcoo (8pm) and Burren will meet neighbours Rostrevor at Clonduff (8pm).

Rostrevor manager Peter McGrath is particularly looking forward to the confrontation with a Burren side that have been making hard work indeed of their Championship campaign to date.

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