Little rest for Lamh Dhearg ahead of minor showdown
If Lamh Dhearg are destined to win the Northern Bank Ulster Minor Club Football Tournament then they are surely going to do it the hard way.
When they meet O’Donovan Rossa Magherafelt in tomorrow’s final at St Paul’s complex, Shaw’s Road, Belfast they will just have had a week in which to recover from their exertions against Kilcar in last Sunday’s semi-final.
In contrast, the Magherafelt outfit booked their place in the decider some time ago and have had plenty of time in which to hone their strategy.
Lamh Dhearg set down an early marker when they beat last year’s winners Omagh St Enda’s in their opening match before going on to overcome Fermanagh champions Aughadrumsee and then seeing off Kilcar.
Magherafelt had a rather more straightforward passage accounting for Cavan Gaels and Down champions Kilcoo, and their confidence is high principally because of the form of players like their captain Enda McLaughlin, dynamic half-forward Patrick Kielt and industrious half-back Stephen Lagan.
Lamh Dherag will be pinning their hopes once again on their midfield duo Stephen Tully and Stephen Lynch to secure the primary possession that could allow their attack to flourish.
Lynch has been particularly impressive for the Hannahstown side, his versatility and distribution underpinning their policy of all-out attack.
Lamh Dhearg have scored |6-32 to date but in just two matches O’Donovan Rossa have amassed 7-20 and this would suggest that a score fest could be on the cards.
The competition has provided some cracking matches and has served to emphasise the reservoir of under-age talent that there is within the province.
Tournament organiser Billy McLarnon feels that the final will fully reflect the quality that has been on offer to date.
“The final is traditionally a thrilling game and we have had very big crowds in recent years. Hopefully it will be a case of same again,” said McLarnon.