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McMenamin hopes to have all the answers

Ryan McMenamin has been in the spotlight this week for two reasons one of which he would much prefer to see brushed under the carpet.

McMenamin has been on the receiving end of a riposte from Oisin McConville who alleged that the Dromore defender's verbals during one particular Armagh v Tyrone contest were over the top.

But if McMenamin has been discomfited by McConville's blast in his new book 'The Gambler' he has certainly not been showing it outwardly.

Instead he is totally focused on tomorrow's AIB Ulster Club quarter-final against Mayobridge in which Dromore will be tasting action in the competition for the first time in their 74-year history.

To land the Tyrone title was a massive bonus for the St Dympna's side - to make meaningful progress on the Ulster Club front would be a magic carpet ride.

McMenamin is keeping his cards close to his chest preferring instead to let his manager Noel McGinn outline Dromore's steely resolve to make an impact in the competition.

"I have been telling the boys that they have proved themselves within the county and now they have to prove themselves all over again on the provincial stage. The bar has been raised but who's complaining? This is where we want to be, in with the best of them," declares McGinn who as a no-nonsense defender with Tyrone for several years epitomised the spirit which has made 2007 a hugely memorable year for the Dromore club thus far.

While McMenmin will marshall the Dromore rearguard, Colm McCullagh is expected to provide the fire-power up front.

McCullagh certainly showed with Tyrone over the course of the summer that he is a class act, an accomplished finisher who can maximise half-chances.

And this should ensure that Brendan Grant and his colleagues in the Mayobridge defence are kept on their toes tomorrow.

Grant's experience with Down makes him a pillar of the Mayobridge defence while Ronan Sexton, Michael Walsh and Brendan Coulter are other key players in a team that claimed the Down crown once again without scaling any great heights.

Indeed they were hard pressed by Longstone in the decider before finishing strongly.

Manager Michael Donnelly, having seen his side hurdle their domestic assignment, now wants them to reach the top in the province.

To do this Mayobridge will need to out wit McMenamin and Co - and that will certainly not prove a straightforward task, particularly as the Tyrone champions genuinely feel they have the ammunition to shoot down some of the big guns on the Ulster stage.

Belfast Telegraph


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