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Joe Kernan: Ulster club title chase throws up cracking encounters

The cream will always come to the top. This generally applies in both the Ulster Championship and in the All-Ireland Club Championship.

Now it is very much in evidence in the Ulster Club Championship which swings into action in 10 days time.

No fewer than three teams — Crossmaglen Rangers, Burren and St Gall’s who have won the coveted All-Ireland Club title, will be in the frame.

Rangers won the first of their four national crowns in 1997 before following up with three more (1999, 2000 and 2007) while Burren reigned supreme in 1986 and 1988. St Gall’s are the current holders of the All- Ireland title and their meeting with Crossmaglen on Sunday week will see the ‘house full’ sign go up at Oliver Plunkett Park.

Seldom has such a top-class overall line-up formed the basis for any provincial championship and it’s hardly surprising that Ulster Council officials are now predicting that the forthcoming competition will be one of the best for many years.

There is of course still one piece missing from the Ulster Club series jigsaw. The Tyrone senior football championship final will be played on Sunday at Healy Park, Omagh when Carrickmore meet Coalisland with the winners due to meet Roslea the following week-end in the provincial club quarter-finals. Roslea manager Peter McGinnity, the former Fermanagh and Ulster star, will be a very interested spectator at the game.

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