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McEniff keen on taking title off Leinster

By John Campbell

Ulster will enter their Martin Donnelly inter-provincial football championship semi-final tie against Connacht at Ballybofey on Saturday (8pm) knowing the westerners are particularly keen to capture the title.

Leinster are the current champions and while Ulster manager Brian McEniff covets a renewal of acquantaince with the trophy for what would be the 13th time since he took over as provincial boss in 1983, Connacht have added hunger for success.

"We are aware that Connacht believe they are in with a big chance of winning the trophy this time round. They have a strong base of players while we are being handicapped by injuries and the non-availability of other players," explains McEnifff.

Nevertheless, in tandem with his assistant Art McRory, he has been following a methodical build-up to the competition.

"The fact that the semi-finals and final are being played under floodlights marks a new departure for the competition. There is no doubt that this might help to bring out the fans," suggests McEniff.

He has already cast his selection net far and wide and has supervised a trial match.

"Some of our more experienced players are out of the equation and that's a pity," says McEniff.

Meanwhile, Munster's win over Leinster in last Saturday's semi-final has assured them of a place in the final which will be played on Saturday week under floodlights at Croke Park.

But their manager Sean Geaney is less than happy that a number of frontline players are not available just now.

"Maybe it's the timing of the competition," he queries - something with which McEniff agrees.

The inter-provincial series is still suffering from a perceived lack of publicity oxygen although the feeling is that the staging of the finals at Croke Park will evoke more interest than usual.

Time will tell if this will be the case.

Belfast Telegraph


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