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Treanor faces the ultimate test in battle for Mourne throne


Old hand: Kevin Duffin adds experience for Castlewellan

Old hand: Kevin Duffin adds experience for Castlewellan

Mark Pearce

Old hand: Kevin Duffin adds experience for Castlewellan

Castlewellan manager John 'Shorty' Treanor enjoyed many good days as a player in the colours of both Burren and Down.

Tomorrow, though, he hopes to make his mark as a manager when he sends Castlewellan into battle against a Kilcoo side that will be seeking their fourth successive Down senior football championship title in what promises to be a riveting final at Pairc Esler, Newry.

For Treanor, this is a huge test of his managerial skills and he needs no reminding of the pressures that his side will face.

"We're going in against a Kilcoo side that has acquired a winning mentality in finals and this will be a big obstacle from our perspective," reflects Treanor. "Castlewellan last won the county title 20 years ago so history and tradition are very much on the side of Kilcoo."

Nevertheless the manner in which Castlewellan have claimed a succession of scalps in reaching the decider provides a level of confidence that can cushion the side when the heat comes on.

Kevin Duffin, Daniel Morgan, Donal McKibbin and David Gilmore will underpin a Castlewellan side that is an amalgam of youth and experience.

But they will certainly require their pace, work-rate and physicality against a Kilcoo side that overcame Burren in a gripping semi-final

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Kilcoo boss Paul McIver believes that this victory in particular served to underline his team's determination to remain on the Mourne throne. "When we opened up in the second-half, I thought we played some wonderful football," said McIver.

Tomorrow the Branagan brothers Aidan and Daryl will prop up the defence, Paul Greenan will operate as midfield lynch-pin, Paul Devlin's accurate free-taking could prove invaluable and Conor Laverty can lead by example up front.

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