Difficult second season for McEneaney

THE first season in charge of an unfamiliar group of players tends to bring a positive string of results. Think Malachy O’Rourke taking Fermanagh to an Ulster final in 2008, Liam Bradley did the same in 2009, and last year John Brennan and Jim McGuinness both found themselves in a provincial decider in their maiden […]

St Mary's worst hit by departures

The decision of Mickey Harte to use defender Sean O’Neill and attacker Peter Harte in his Tyrone side for this year’s McKenna Cup, combined with Armagh staking a claim on Michael Stevenson, has left St Mary’s boss Paddy Tally questioning the point of the college taking part in the competition for years to come. That […]

Time to make up for last year

PADDY O’Rourke has gone for a very fresh panel for the Power NI Dr McKenna cup. Having used fewer players last year than any other team in Ulster last year, 33, O’Rourke appears resolved to cast his net a little wider in 2012. Ciaran McKeever and Charlie Vernon are the among the highest profile returnees […]

Life after departure of Tyrone legends

CAST your mind back to 2005, and think of how Peter Canavan was able to fleetingly wind down his Tyrone career. Yet when he was called upon to make a contribution, he made it stick, winning an All-Ireland and an All-Star. Yet the man who some would consider he pushed out of that centre-forward berth […]

Third time a charm for McCartan?

AFTER the almost dream-like first year of James McCartan’s reign, he looked around the county and scoured for talent to give them the edge in 2011. By season’s end, he had given game time to no fewer than a whopping 53 players. To set that figure in context among his Ulster counterparts, it was five […]

Queens avoid county college debacle

Absences from college sides have dominated the build-up to this year’s McKenna Cup, but for QUB it’s the inclusion of one name on their team sheet which could prove to be the headline-grabber. Jamie O’Reilly’s decision to call time on a hugely promising AFL career to return to the Malone Road to continue his studies […]

Baker must focus on Antrim attack

Last year, Antrim’s season started with Liam Bradley dropping two first choice ‘keepers, bringing in two rookie netminders and also pinching a Tyrone defender in Dean O’Neill. This year, the changes were made on the sideline, as former footballers Geroid Adams and Paul McFlynn were drafted in to help the Baker out. In another canny […]

Canavan can make instant impact

THE jumping-off point for 2012 is so much different than it was for 2011. Twelve months ago, the most commonly-heard phrase on Erneside was, ‘Sure, we can’t get any worse’, after the county senior team had won two games from the previous twenty competitive matches. But of course things can always get worse. Much, much […]

Armagh players to battle for places

ARMAGH dressing rooms in January are an environment which attacker Brian Mallon is well used to at this stage. However, this year there are even fewer familiar faces than usual. Mallon is one of only a handful of experienced campaigners lining out in orange for this weekend’s opening McKenna Cup clash with neighbours Down, finding […]

Bordering on the stupid – Jarlath

THERE are rumblings and rumours and speculation and gossip that perhaps, one day in the future, our 32 counties could become a nicely packaged four groups of eight for the purposes of the championship. There is no doubt that on the surface, this seems like a great idea, would sort out the imbalance that exists […]