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Mayo on the hunt for new boss as Horan resigns

By John Campbell

As Down and Antrim step up efforts to put new football team managers in place, one of the highest-profile bosses in the country has called time on his tenure.

Mayo manager James Horan terminated his reign following the team's defeat to Kerry in the All-Ireland semi-final replay and this paves the way for a newcomer to build on the huge progress he has overseen since taking charge four years ago.

Yet even though he masterminded four Connacht title triumphs and brought the side into two All-Ireland finals, Horan was unable to oversee the return of the Sam Maguire Cup to the county for the first time since 1951.

Meanwhile, as Tyrone manager Mickey Harte reconstructs his backroom team, he took time out to assess a raft of players when the county championship semi-finals were staged over the weekend.

Omagh St Enda's booked their place in the decider by beating Dromore by 1-7 to 0-9, the all-important goal coming late in the game from Jason McAnulla.

Even though they were handicapped when county ace Ronan O'Neill was shown a red card, the Omagh outfit still managed to hold out despite the best efforts for Colm McCullagh, Conor O'Neill and Ruairi Sludden for Dromore.

And in the decider Omagh will meet Carrickmore who overcame Ardboe by 2-7 to 0-11 in the second semi-final last night. Neil Loughran and Paul McAleer scored Carrickmore's goals with Martin Penrose a rich source of points.

Kyle Coney led Ardboe's resistance with a raft of points while Shea McGuigan was dismissed after incurring a second yellow card.

In the Armagh senior football championship, Crossmaglen Rangers had a facile victory 3-24 to 0-5 win over Carrickcruppen which further heightens their prospects of collecting yet another county title.

The joint management team of Oisin McConville and John McEntee are taking nothing for granted, though, as they target further progress.

The Rangers will meet either Maghery or Whitecross in the quarter-finals and with John Murtagh having scored 2-6 and Jamie Clarke having landed 1-2 against Carrickcrupppen they look unstoppable at the moment.

St Patrick's overcame Annaghmore Pearses by 1-12 to 0-7, a Kieran Hoey goal underpinning their victory. The St Patrick's cause was helped by fine performances from current county ace Michael Murray and former county players Malachy Mackin and Gary McCooey.

But there was a scare for Maghery who, despite the best efforts of the Forkers Stefan and Aidan, could only draw with a Mark Shields-inspired Whitecross, the teams each scoring 1-13.

In a match that was marred by a melee just before half-time, one player from each side was dismissed and suspensions could ensue from this depending on what course of action the Competitions Control Committee takes.

As Lavey player Kevin McCloy continues his recovery following his collapse while playing for his club against O'Donovan Rossa, he has been provided with a further fillip as his team continue to progress in the Derry championship. They beat Bellaghy by 1-13 to 0-5 while Kilrea showed that they could prove a force in the competition by accounting for Loup by 1-11 to 0-11.

Derry manager Brian McIver is conducting a trawl of talent as he focuses on the 2015 season.

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