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McGeeney gets first look at Kildare talent

By John Campbell

New Kildare manager Kieran McGeeney had an early opportunity to run his eye over some of the cream of his newly-adopted crop when the county final was staged on Sunday.

Moorefield retained their crown by beating Sarsfields by 2-19 to 0-11 in an all-Newbridge decider.

And McGeeney gained an interesting insight to some of the options that might be available to him when he gets down to piecing together his side.

Meanwhile, Cavan Gaels manager Malachy O'Rourke is certain to remain in his post - in the short term at least.

The Enniskillen schoolteacher has been touted as the man to succeed Charlie Mulgrew as Fermanagh manager but now that the Gaels have lifted the Cavan championship title and entered the AIB Ulster Club series O'Rourke will continue to direct operations.

It was sharpshooter Seanie Johnston who led the way with six points as the Gaels defeated Gowna by 0-15 to 0-11 at Kingspan Breffni Park to reign supreme again.

Gowna will feel unlucky that they lost county ace Dermot McCabe to injury after just 16 minutes of play and they struggled to replace their talisman for the rest of the encounter.

Johnston proved to be the key for the town side with four of his scores coming from placed balls.

And while Cavan Gaels are safely through to the provincial competition, four other teams with aspirations of joining them will be in action this week-end.

While Dromore and Coalisland go head to head in the Tyrone decider at Healy Park, Omagh, Bellaghy and Glenullin will cross swords in the Derry final at Celtic Park (4.00).

Bellaghy are the real powerbrokers of Derry football having collected 21 titles over the course of the past half-century.

In contrast, Glenullin have to go back a quarter of century for their last triumph in the Oak Leaf county. But the manner in which they overcame fancied Balinderry in their semi-final hints that they could pose serious problems for Bellaghy on Sunday.

Rory Boylan's immense display at midfield, Ger O'Kane's defensive nous and Paddy Bradley's ten points - six from play - highlighted a Glenullin performance that must rank among the best in the history of this ambitious north Derry club.

Sunday will prove their acid test, though, against a side with a rich tradition and a burning desire to get back into the AIB Ulster Club title frame.

Belfast Telegraph


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