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McManus is looking to historic title triumph for inspiration

By John Campbell

Cian McManus, who led St Patrick's College, Cavan to their first Ulster Colleges' MacRory Cup triumph in over 40 years on St Patrick's Day, is hot in pursuit of further honours.

The Cavan school went into the decider as underdogs against St Patrick's Academy, Dungannon but an inspirational performance from McManus coupled with devastating finishing by Thomas Edward Donohue helped take their side to glory.

Having pocketed his MacRory Cup medal, Teemore Shamrocks clubman McManus will now return to fulfil the role of defensive anchor in the Fermanagh side that will meet Antrim in the Ulster Minor Football Championship quarter-final at Brewster Park, Enniskillen tomorrow (2.15pm).

And his inclusion provides a welcome boost for a team that struggled badly in the Ulster Minor League earlier in the year.

Fermanagh lost heavily to Donegal and Tyrone in particular, managing to secure their only source of consolation via a draw against Antrim.

But with McManus back in the fold, Conor Carney installed as another defensive barrier at full-back and the lightning-quick Colm Jones from the Derrygonnelly Harps club on fire in attack, manager Keith Reilly has rather more cause for optimism as he surveys what is a particularly demanding Ulster competition.

The winners are due to meet Cavan in the semi-final and know for sure that they will have a mountain to climb at that stage following the emphatic manner in which the Breffni side dismissed Monaghan.

Meanwhile, Donegal manager Declan Bonner is keen to see his side offer a more expansive performance against Armagh at the Athletic Grounds tomorrow evening (7.00pm).

The reigning champions had to work hard to overcome Tyrone in the preliminary round and will face a stern test against an Armagh side with Aidan O'Rourke, who won an All-Ireland medal with the Orchard County in 2002, in charge of the side.

In the Christy Ring Cup semi-final today, Derry will have home advantage against Down.

Both teams have found the going tough so far, the Oak Leafers particularly so in just getting past Monaghan at the quarter-final stage by a single point.

With Paddy Henry, Ruairi Convery and Alan Grant in fine form, they might just make it into the decider.

Fermanagh's hurlers meet Sligo today in what is a dead rubber in the Lory Meagher Cup and both teams will be keeping their powder dry in advance of next Saturday's Headquarters shoot-out.

Belfast Telegraph


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