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O’Doherty has a burning desire for more success

By John Campbell

Cormac O’Doherty’s baby-faced features can prove somewhat deceptive. Small and amiable, he tends to exude a laid-back, rather casual attitude.

But when it comes to pursuing honours, the Slaughtneil forward’s competitive juices flow freely — and in two codes, too.

Tomorrow, the multi-talented O’Doherty will line out against St Kiernan’s in the All-Ireland Club Football Championship quarter-final conscious that it will be the last match in what has been a gruelling 2016 itinerary but passionately committed to bringing his side into the last four.

O’Doherty does not mince his words in articulating Slaughtneil’s desire to complement their Ulster silverware with the All-Ireland crown.

“In 2014 we lost to Corofin in the All-Ireland Club final and that was hard to take at the time,” he reflected. “Now here we are with the Ulster camogie, hurling and football titles in our locker but to be honest that makes us all the more determined to succeed at the highest level.”

O’Doherty’s willowy grace, sure touch and blistering pace allied to an inherent ability to be in the right place at the right time have served him well and far from complaining about burn-out he appears to thrive in what many would consider an exhausting fixture schedule.

“I suppose when you are immersed in hurling and football it can be seen as demanding but we have a policy of just taking the games as they come. We appear to have players who can seamlessly switch their allegiance from code to code and that is a huge help to us,” explained O’Doherty.

Tomorrow at Greenford in London (1pm) he can expect to come in for close attention from a St Kiernan’s defence that looked solid in winning the London final against Tir Conaill Gaels by 0-12 to 0-5.

Alongside him in attack, O’Doherty will have Paul Bradley, who was superb in the Ulster final victory over Killyclogher, as well as Shane McGuigan — he landed five points in that game — and playmaker Christopher Bradley.

The London outfit, managed by Chris Byrne, boasts fine players in James Moran, Liam O’Donoghue, Thomas Waters, Mark Mulholland and Michael Callery.

They have taken heart from winning the London title for the first time in their 31-year history but not to the extent that they are likely to make it into the All-Ireland semi-finals.

O’Doherty and his colleagues will have too much fire in their bellies to allow that to happen.

Belfast Telegraph


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