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Cracking encounter expected

September 30, 2014

● SFC Final 4pm – Kilcoo (holders) v Burren

Will it be a winning Down championship swansong for Magpies manager Jim McCorry or will Burren deny Kilcoo their bid for three-in a-row at @ Pairc Esler 4pm on Sunday Oct 5. This is a repeat of last year’s low scoring affair 0-9 to 0-7 where both defensive units ruled the roost and once again it will be the team who can contain potent forward lines that can set up an Ulster Club championship meeting with Monaghan champions Scotstown or Clontibret in Newry on Oct 19. Burren scored 3 points in the opening 15 minutes last year but failed to register for a further 25 minutes with Kilcoo 4-3 ahead at the short whistle. A second yellow for Burren Captain Dan McCartan was to prove costly as a massive late free from Darragh O’Hanlon was added to by a fifth Paul Devlin point to retain the title for Kilcoo.
This year in the league meeting in Round One on 11th April, Kilcoo beat Burren 1-16 to 2-8 though neither went on to figure in the final shake up, not that Sunday’s winner will care much about that. The Magpies are now going for ‘three-in-a-row’; that 2013 defeat denied Burren their own ‘three-in-a-row’ and revenge on Sunday would be very sweet for the St Mary’s team.
Kilcoo’s return to the Final has been quite comfortable, four points their closest call, and they are the only unbeaten team in the competition which would install them as favourites with traditionalists whereas Burren have lost once already in the round robin to Longstone, a defeat which perhaps exposed the shallowness of their squad. This can come into play if Declan Rooney or Kevin McKernan are unavailable for selection, due to suspension and injury respectively, and their absence necessitates wholesale positional changes rather than slotting in direct like for like replacements.
The key battle on Sunday will be Ciaran McGovern’s man marking job on Conor Laverty, the Burren veteran did an excellent job on Down skipper Mark Poland in the semi-final which helped reverse the result of the earlier meeting of the teams. However, Kilcoo are sure to have a Plan ‘B’ in place if it’s required, Laverty has become such a vital cog in making Kilcoo tick.
Elsewhere several defenders on both sides have sailed close to the wind, in terms of not finishing earlier matches and a referee’s call could be decisive in determining the outcome; certainly the intensity witnessed in the Kilcoo v Mayobridge semi-final won’t be allowed develop in a showpiece final, which is not necessarily a good thing.
In the forwards, with the likes of Donal O’Hare, Jerome Johnston, Sean Murdock and Paul Devlin on the pitch scores should be plentiful and Darragh O’Hanlon and Kevin McKernan are attack minded defenders who make significant contributions to their sides’ scoring prowess.
It should be a cracking match whether that is as a free scoring affair or as a tactical battle with Kilcoo favoured as reigning champions and as a team which has improved with each outing as the Championship has progressed.
Kilcoo Path to the Final
Group Results
Kilcoo 1-14 Mayobridge 1-7
Kilcoo 2-12 Rostrevor 0-7
Kilcoo 4-15 Tullylish 1-9
Quarter-Final
Kilcoo 1-11 Clonduff 0-5
Semi-Final
Kilcoo 2-12 Mayobridge 3-5
Burren Path to the Final
Group Results
Burren 3-9 Annaclone 0-7
Burren 4-11 Loughinisland 1-7
Burren 2-12 Longstone 2-13
Quarter-Final
Burren 2-13 Castlewellan 0-11
Semi-Final
Burren 2-17 Longstone 1-7

Will it be a winning Down championship swansong for Magpies manager Jim McCorry or will Burren deny Kilcoo their bid for three-in a-row at @ Pairc Esler 4pm on Sunday Oct 5. This is a repeat of last year’s low scoring affair 0-9 to 0-7 where both defensive units ruled the roost and once again it will be the team who can contain potent forward lines that can set up an Ulster Club championship meeting with Monaghan champions Scotstown or Clontibret in Newry on Oct 19. Burren scored 3 points in the opening 15 minutes last year but failed to register for a further 25 minutes with Kilcoo 4-3 ahead at the short whistle. A second yellow for Burren Captain Dan McCartan was to prove costly as a massive late free from Darragh O’Hanlon was added to by a fifth Paul Devlin point to retain the title for Kilcoo. This year in the league meeting in Round One on 11th April, Kilcoo beat Burren 1-16 to 2-8 though neither went on to figure in the final shake up, not that Sunday’s winner will care much about that. The Magpies are now going for ‘three-in-a-row’; that 2013 defeat denied Burren their own ‘three-in-a-row’ and revenge on Sunday would be very sweet for the St Mary’s team.Kilcoo’s return to the Final has been quite comfortable, four points their closest call, and they are the only unbeaten team in the competition which would install them as favourites with traditionalists whereas Burren have lost once already in the round robin to Longstone, a defeat which perhaps exposed the shallowness of their squad. This can come into play if Declan Rooney or Kevin McKernan are unavailable for selection, due to suspension and injury respectively, and their absence necessitates wholesale positional changes rather than slotting in direct like for like replacements.The key battle on Sunday will be Ciaran McGovern’s man marking job on Conor Laverty, the Burren veteran did an excellent job on Down skipper Mark Poland in the semi-final which helped reverse the result of the earlier meeting of the teams. However, Kilcoo are sure to have a Plan ‘B’ in place if it’s required, Laverty has become such a vital cog in making Kilcoo tick.Elsewhere several defenders on both sides have sailed close to the wind, in terms of not finishing earlier matches and a referee’s call could be decisive in determining the outcome; certainly the intensity witnessed in the Kilcoo v Mayobridge semi-final won’t be allowed develop in a showpiece final, which is not necessarily a good thing.In the forwards, with the likes of Donal O’Hare, Jerome Johnston, Sean Murdock and Paul Devlin on the pitch scores should be plentiful and Darragh O’Hanlon and Kevin McKernan are attack minded defenders who make significant contributions to their sides’ scoring prowess.It should be a cracking match whether that is as a free scoring affair or as a tactical battle with Kilcoo favoured as reigning champions and as a team which has improved with each outing as the Championship has progressed.Kilcoo Path to the FinalGroup ResultsKilcoo 1-14 Mayobridge 1-7Kilcoo 2-12 Rostrevor 0-7Kilcoo 4-15 Tullylish 1-9Quarter-FinalKilcoo 1-11 Clonduff 0-5Semi-FinalKilcoo 2-12 Mayobridge 3-5Burren Path to the FinalGroup ResultsBurren 3-9 Annaclone 0-7Burren 4-11 Loughinisland 1-7Burren 2-12 Longstone 2-13Quarter-FinalBurren 2-13 Castlewellan 0-11Semi-FinalBurren 2-17 Longstone 1-7

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