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Red Hands' revenge mission over Donegal pick of bunch


By Declan Bogue

The Ulster minor Championship has a full run of games this weekend as the summer inter-county season creaks ever-so-slowly into action, with all the games throwing in on Saturday at 6pm.

The tie of the round, or at least the one that will attract most attention, is the meeting of Donegal and Tyrone in Ballybofey.

Beaten in the Ulster minor league final recently, Donegal, who are under the charge of Gavin Duffy this year, have already beaten Tyrone in the group stages.

Tyrone are managed by former senior All-Ireland winner Collie Holmes and they had an encouraging win over Meath in a challenge match last Saturday in a blustery Garvaghey.

Starting with a panel of 40 last October, the numbers have been whittled down over six league games and four challenge matches in total. They retain five of the players who won the first All-Ireland Under-17 tournament last year with victory over Roscommon in the final; Carl Quinn, Oisin McHugh, Mark Hayes, Ronan Dunne and Kevin Barker, but are without Carrickmore's Stephen Grugan through injury.

There is a tasty meeting between Armagh and Down pencilled in for Newry. Armagh's legendary midfielder from their 2002 All-Ireland triumph Paul McGrane is in charge of the Orchard youngsters. They reached the league semi-finals.

However, they will not be able to call on any of St Ronan's Hogan Cup winners as all those Armagh players are now over-age.

To add to the list of familiar names on the sideline, James McCartan is in charge of the Down side who lost to Armagh in the group stages of the league.

Fresh from defeating Monaghan in a thrilling epic last weekend that went to extra-time, and almost the final play of the ball, Paddy Campbell's Derry now journey down to Kingscourt to face Cavan.

Cavan made it to last year's Ulster minor final to Derry and Breffni manager John Brady remains in charge.

The final game of the weekend is taking place in Corrigan Park, where Antrim host Fermanagh.

When they met in the league stages, Antrim burned off their opponents with three goals and a point in the final five minutes.

Antrim have been under the coaching of Padraig MacLaibheartaigh, who has had this group over the last four years of development squads, and they can call on some Hogan Cup winners.

Belfast Telegraph


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