Cavanagh focused on front door


Tyrone star Sean Cavanagh insists that although he makes Donegal favourites for Sunday’s Ulster semi-final clash, he still believes the Red Hands have got what it takes to maintain a march not only towards an Ulster title, but indeed a fourth All-Ireland crown.
Semi-finals can be a stumbling block for even the most experienced sides, but the former Player of the Year insists that Tyrone will be highly motivated on Sunday, as victory will take them one step closer to their ultimate goal.
“The way things have gone for us in recent years, 2009 and 2010, even though we’ve won Ulster they’ve still proven to be unsuccessful years. The emphasis in Tyrone now every year is to get Sam back, that’s the reality we have to live with.
“The shortest route to an All-Ireland is still via the front door, by winning a provincial title, and every step we take towards that is one step closer to our ultimate goal.”


Opportunity for a Donegal title win: Bonner


Former Donegal star Declan Bonner reveals that he is very much a fan of the Jim McGuinness style of management. Not just that, but he believes that not only do the Tir Chonaill men have a great chance of victory against Tyrone on Sunday afternoon.
Bonner, an All-Ireland winning player who went on to manage the county senior side, believes that Donegal’s youthful enthusiasm and mental strength could well be the key to beating battle-hardened Tyrone this Sunday afternoon at Clones.


Brennan not impressed by 'commercial' Clones decision


Derry boss John Brennan is concerned that the, “Purely commercial decision,” to play his side’s Ulster semi-final against Armagh this Sunday at Clones will cost his team greatly in terms of support.
The Oak Leaf manager insists that the Monaghan venue is far from neutral.
He also believes that the increased financial burden for Derry’s travelling support will be reflected by the numbers on the terraces.
“We were told that if it was Down who we were playing then it would be at Casement Park, and if it was Armagh then it would be in Omagh. There’s now going to be about twice the journey and three times the cost involved to get to Clones. I believe we’ll be outnumbered two or three to one by Armagh supporters.
“To me it was a political decision, and to me even more so a purely commercial decision on Clones’ behalf to have the game there.”


Duffy insists Orchard have found their groove


If Armagh have a Mr Consistency, that man is probably Paul Duffy. A member of the u-21 team that won the 2004 u-21 All-Ireland title, he has graduated with a number of that group to form the core of the Armagh senior team. Finnian Moriarty, Andy Mallon, Aaron Kernan, Ciaran McKeever, Brian Mallon, Malachy Mackin, Gareth Swift and Johnny Murtagh all claimed All-Ireland silverware in 2004 and are now key players with the county.
In that respect, Duffy knows the team like few others, and he has a tremendous faith in their abilities. For him, the Down game was merely the first expression of what this team is capable off.
“It was very good, we knew we had a performance in us, it was just a matter of getting it out. It gave everyone a bit of confidence ahead of the next game. We’re still a young team, but we’ve been about for a long time. We all know what we’re capable of.”


McDonnell hits out at testing procedures


ARMAGH captain Stevie McDonnell has added his voice to the growing number of GAA players who have expressed their concern about drug-testing procedures.
The Orchard attacker saw first-hand the difficulties players experience in providing the required urine sample as he waited until near midnight for one of those involved after his side’s Ulster SFC win over Down at the Athletic Grounds a fortnight ago.


Health and safety rules out Casement semi


Antrim county board chairman Jim Murray expressed his disappointment that Casement Park won’t receive an Ulster Championship game. However, he said this only emphasises the importance of the new redevelopment at the west Belfast venue.


Antrim on the up as Loughrey returns


Antrim’s prospects received a huge boost ahead of this Sunday’s All-Ireland football qualifiers draw with the return to county colours of James Loughrey. The St Brigid’s man had opted out of county action due to the pressures of study and exam commitments, but he made his comeback in Tuesday night’s challenge match victory over Derry, […]


McElhinney gearing up for Breffni challenge


Donegal midfielder Martin McElhinney has dismissed the branding of his side as defensive, and insists that they will have plenty of attacking thrust against Cavan this weekend.

The St Michael’s man, still only 22 years of age, has overcome a series of injuries and having seen Donegal win their first Championship match since 2007, is confident that there’s more to come from the Tir Chonnail men.

“Realistically we were just happy to get the win. We didn’t care if it was a brilliant game or a bad game, so long as we got win. People can say what they want, but we’re happy we’re still in the Ulster championship. There’s no point in playing brilliant football and not winning, it’s a results business.
“But I think we’re an attacking team because we run up some big scores in the national league, so I don’t know how you can call us defensive at the same time.”


Singing in the rain…


Let’s be honest… It was never exactly going to be pretty.
As the rain lashed down on Healy Park, the terraces looking bedecked with an array of umbrellas emblazoned with the many logos of sponsors and companies, the action on the field was never going to be July in Clones stuff. Come to think of it, July in Clones stuff rarely lives up to the billing either.


Tyrone must bring 'A-game' coach warns


If Tyrone do not bring their A game on Sunday against Monaghan then they are in real danger of suffering a shock defeat.
That’s the verdict of Tyrone man Martin McElkennon, who is a former coach of the Monaghan seniors.
In fact, many of the reasons why Mickey Harte’s Red Hands are 8/11 favourites to win on Sunday are also arguments to support a Monaghan win.
“Tyrone will have to bring their A game if they are to win on Sunday. Part of the reason for that is they have a problem with Omagh,” McElkennon said.