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Kilcoo await winners of St Paul's quarter-finals

 

Favourite’s chance: Antrim hurling boss Darren Gleeson
Favourite’s chance: Antrim hurling boss Darren Gleeson
Declan Bogue

By Declan Bogue

The St Paul's Ulster minor club football Championship is into its second weekend, with last week's winners Kilcoo getting a free weekend.

In the 37 years of the tournament, it has been won by Derry clubs a record 16 times.

Last year's winners were Bellaghy, a team rated as high as any ever seen in action in the tournament.

It's Lavey's turn this time, and they are bolstered by a number of second-generation lads of Derry's 1993 All-Ireland winners. They play Drumloman Gaels, an amalgamation of Cavan clubs Mullahoran and Ballymachugh, today at Coláiste Feirste at 4pm.

Lavey are managed by Michael Hassan, who has also been appointed as the club senior manager in 2020.

This group of players will not lack of match-sharpness as they also captured the county hurling Championship and there is significant crossover of the two panels.

The Cavan Championship was completed more than two months ago and it would seem Lavey's busier schedule might stand to them.

The second game of the weekend is between the local representatives, Erin's Own, Cargin, and Enniskillen Gaels, winners of this tournament in 2018. This game takes place at the St Paul's ground on Shaw's Road tomorrow at 1pm.

Cargin won their first Antrim county Championship in almost two decades in October, when they beat the fancied St Brigid's. Star of their team is undoubtedly Pat Shivers at midfield, as he is a regular feature on the club senior team that also won the county senior Championship the week after.

However, Benen Kelly has emerged as a serious goal threat and will need watching.

Enniskillen may be struggling with injury and there is a whisper that full-back Josh Horan, a brother of the St Michael's Enniskillen Hogan Cup winning captain, is unavailable.

They will look to Oliver Hughes-Jordan to do a marking job on Shivers, while Conor Love is a lively forward in the inside line.

The third match is between Termon of Donegal who enjoyed a handsome victory over Armagh champions Silverbridge last weekend, and Monaghan's Emyvale, with that game being staged at Coláiste Feirste tomorrow at 4pm.

Emyvale scored a rare victory at this level in their own county, but with Monaghan operating an under-17 level and St Paul's at under-18s, they will be very young, with only one addition to the panel of Niall McKenna.

This generation of Termon players have been winning at Donegal level for the last number of years and have previous experience in the Paul McGirr Tournament.

As well as the remaining St Paul's quarter-finals, there are also two hurling games on at the weekend in the Conor McGurk Cup.

New Fermanagh manager Joe Baldwin gets another look at his charges today at the Queen's Dub when they take on Down after a heavy defeat last weekend by UUJ.

Darren Gleeson's Antrim also face Longford today at the same venue, with both games throwing in at 1.30pm, and Antrim's game is unlikely to throw up anything other than a big win for the Saffrons.

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