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Ulster clubs hoping to be in seventh heaven

By John Campbell

Several Ulster club sides are in the frame for the prestigious O'Neill's Kilmacud Crokes All-Ireland Football Sevens.

The Championship traditionally attracts the best club sides from all over Ireland as well as teams from overseas.

Hoping to fly the flag for Ulster will be Moy Tir na nOg who can call upon Tyrone stars Sean Cavanagh, Philip Jordan and Ryan Mellon while Castlewellan, a club well versed in sevens action, will carry Down's hopes in the competition.

St Galls, who have been a dominant force in Antrim football in recent years, will also be in action.

Castleblayney Faughs will carry a strong tradition into the competition which is one of the highlights of the All Ireland Football final weekend in Dublin.

Other leading club sides in the field will be Crossmolina (Mayo), Kilmacud Crokes (Dublin), Corofin (Galway), O'Donovan Rossa and Castlehaven (Cork) and An Gaeltacht (Kerry).

This year will see Asian Sevens champions, the Hong Kong club, travel to compete in the prestigious event.

The Kilmacud Crokes Sevens celebrates its 35th anniversary this year and when the action gets under way on Saturday week some of the cream of the country's talent will be in action.

Teams will compete in group stages over one day at four venues in the Stillorgan area, with the top eight teams playing in the quarter-finals, semi-finals and final at the Kilmacud Crokes grounds in Glenalbyn.

Teams qualify for the Sevens by winning their county championship or by invitation to compete.

Tony Towell, managing director of sponsors O'Neills, said: "That this tournament is in its 35th year speaks volumes for the appeal and status of the Sevens. This is why O'Neills is delighted to be involved in what will be another bumper weekend of football and fun in Kilmacud Crokes."

Pauric McMenamin, chairman of Kilmacud Crokes, said: "We are delighted once more to welcome the top club sides from around Ireland to compete in what promises to be another action packed tournament. We would also like to extend a special welcome to the Hong Kong GAA club."

"We would like to thank O'Neills who have sponsored this All-Ireland Championship for the past four years and have contributed so much to what is a special weekend for gaelic football followers."

Games will be broadcast on TG4 with highlights also being shown on Setanta Sports.

Belfast Telegraph


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