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Quigley urges Ulster trio to be bold like Ernesiders

By John Campbell

Fermanagh may be out of the race for the All-Ireland football title but full-forward Sean Quigley still sits proudly at the top of the Championship scoring chart with an impressive 3-36 to his credit.

And there is every chance that the Roslea clubman could still be the country's leading marksman by the time the destination of the Sam Maguire Cup is decided.

But personal kudos are not quite on Quigley's agenda right now. Instead, the popular hot-shot is strongly focused on seeing Tyrone, Monaghan and Donegal take a leaf from his own county's book and go for broke in their bid to reach the All-Ireland semi-finals.

"It's great to see three more Ulster sides going into action at Croke Park on Saturday and all with a really good chance of making it into the semi-finals," reflected Quigley.

"We knew going into our game against Dublin last weekend that we were going to give it a real lash and I would love to see these other Ulster sides do the same thing on Saturday.

"There is absolutely no doubt that Ulster teams have been a big force in the Championship to date and when you look at some of the scores that have been recorded, you wonder why there is all the talk about blanket defence and parking the bus."

Quigley (pictured), whose 'goal' against Dublin when he forced Stephen Cluxton over his goal line has gone viral, is urging Tyrone and Monaghan, who face each other, and Donegal, who take on Mayo, to bring a similar up-and-at-them approach to the table.

"At this stage of the year, while no team wants to lose, it is essential to go for scores. Obviously you have to keep your eye on the defensive side of things but I think that the three Ulster sides who will be in action this weekend have shown that they are very capable of not only playing great football but racking up big scores into the bargain," stated Quigley.

"I'm not in the least surprised to see the level of interest that is being generated and Croke Park will be throbbing on Saturday. There will be a great atmosphere and only Ulster fans can give the ground a special aura for matches like this."

For Tyrone and Donegal, it will be a return to Headquarters just a week after their qualifier matches against Sligo and Galway respectively but Quigley feels they will be up for battle again.

"Six or seven days is not regarded as an ideal recovery period but at this time of the year players tend to thrive on playing games," insisted Quigley.

"They are at peak fitness, the grounds are usually firm and there are big crowds so all the ingredients are there for cracking games. I know that Tyrone and Donegal will rise to the occasion but I feel, too, that Monaghan will be particularly keen to push on this year having won their second Ulster title in three years."

Monaghan manager Malachy O'Rourke has already made it clear that his side are anxious to make up for their heavy defeat to Dublin last year (2-22 to 0-11) while Tyrone boss Mickey Harte feels that his team were below-par in their eclipse by Armagh in the qualifiers last term (0-13 to 0-10).

Donegal, meanwhile, have their sights set on reaching the All-Ireland final again which would afford them the opportunity to make amends for last year's fall to Kerry.

"I think all three Ulster sides have a massive incentive to do well and I know that they have a great hunger going into these games," declared Quigley.

"When we played Monaghan we kept in touch for the greater part of the game until they pulled away, while Tyrone and Donegal looked comfortable in beating Sligo and Galway. I honestly believe that this weekend will offer one of the most exciting and thrilling double bills for some time."

Belfast Telegraph


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