You win nothing with kids – Jarlath Burns
ON SUNDAY at half past three, the Ulster championship bandwagon will begin its journey for another year.
The location will be Kingspan Breffni Park in a clash between the Ulster champions versus the county which has come out of nowhere to become a genuine force at underage and shine a light of hope into their future.
The Ulster Council are taking their task of organising the competition seriously with reduced admission rates and free admission to all under 16s.
This is an excellent idea and apart from the economic advantages to those who would take the flask and hang sandwiches in the boot of the car, it is a nice reward to those underage children who play a version of Gaelic football that is actually watchable.
Many people who claim to know what they are talking about are tipping Donegal to take Ulster again. It would be an ambitious punt.
That side of the draw is congested with quite a few counties who might have ideas about themselves this summer.
Derry play the winners of that match and then whoever emerges from that duel faces Tyrone or Armagh in a semi final, so it’s a veritable group of death.
At this stage, it is impossible to predict what would happen and any four out of these five teams could realistically see themselves lifting the Anglo Celt in the middle of July.
The whole cottage industry of predictions is folly anyway, but it is a feature of this time of year.
For example, Sunday’s game, on the face of it, should be easy to call. Here we have the Ulster champions, supremely fit, with a sullen game plan, a tactically brilliant manager and about three top quality scoring forwards.
Further to this, their League performances were quite good with victories over Armagh, Cork and Laois. They retained their division one status and scored 5-73 over their seven matches.
The full story is in the current issue of Gaelic Life, published on Thursday May 17. Buy your copy now either online; by clicking the subscribe button on this page, or in your local newsagent