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Paul Finlay isn't focusing on his personal record tally

By John Campbell

Seven years have elapsed since Paul Finlay first came to terms with a heart scare that threatened his playing career.

Today, the Monaghan talisman is not only playing better than ever but finds himself on the cusp of a second successive Ulster championship medal as well as being in possession of a league Division Two gong and he is already entered in the record books following his 500th point in inter-county football.

It's a record of achievement of which any robustly healthy player would be proud but when it is considered that Finlay had to bow to medical opinion and submit himself to rigorous check-ups before he re-launched his stellar career, then his feats become all the more praiseworthy.

Yet the modest veteran, whose late father 'Jap' was a Monaghan legend, prefers to leave the statistics to those of a mathematical bent.

"I'm just glad to be out there playing and we're really looking forward to playing Donegal in the Ulster final," enthuses company representative Finlay.

"We always knew that Armagh would be a tough nut to crack in the semi-final and we are just so glad to have got over last Sunday's hurdle. They made life difficult for us and Tyrone will not find it easy against them."

It was in a low-key Power NI Dr McKenna Cup game back on a dismal day in January that Finlay hoisted over his 500th point for his county and since then he has continued to bolster his scoring ratio, landing three points against Armagh to underline his worth to Malachy O'Rourke's side.

"It never occurred to me that I was approaching any kind of landmark. To be getting game time is great," says Finlay, who has spent 11 years in the county colours.

"And to be looking forward to another Ulster final is just massive."

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