Special times for the Derrynoose club

By Shaun Casey

THE next few weeks will be a special time for the Derrynoose club, as they have three senior teams all competing in championship finals.

First up, the ladies meet Clonmore on Friday evening in the Armagh LGFA Junior Championship final while the men have their turn on Sunday when they take on Lissummon in the Junior final.

Next weekend it will be all about the camogie team as they compete in the Intermediate Championship decider against Culloville, but Derrynoose will hope the club has captured some silverware by that stage.

Derrynoose are unique in that all their teams at all codes fall under the same umbrella, they’re all played through the one club.

“I think it’s a testament to the work that has gone in at underage level and also it’s a testament to the different committees,” said the men’s captain Paddy Kelly.

“I know you hear it all the time, it’s probably a bit of a cliché at this stage but the amount of work that goes on behind the scenes is phenomenal. You just wouldn’t believe it unless you’re actually part of it.

“I’m not heavily involved in the committees behind the scenes myself, but it should be known that their work does not go unnoticed or under-appreciated, it’s a real privilege. It’s great to see the three teams in the final, it’s a testament to that.”

Kelly will lead his men into battle for their first final appearance since 2019, when they surprisingly lost out to Collegeland by three points despite heading into the game as favourites.

Sunday will be no different against Lissummon as Paul Doyle’s men once again hold the favourites’ tag, as they hope to get their hands on the Sean Quinn Cup for the first time since 1973, although they did win the Intermediate Championship in 1985.

The Division 3A league champions will be playing intermediate football next season no matter what happens, but have shown great determination in defeating St Michael’s, Dorsey and Middletown to reach the decider.

That 2019 experience is still fresh in the memory.

“Hopefully we can use that to push on because it is such a fresh experience and it’s a really similar situation.

“We came through a really tough semi-final and this time we’re coming in against an opposition that we’re familiar with, so we’re going to try our best to use that experience to our advantage.

“We’ve got a lot of the boys that were on that side in 2019 (still playing) along with a nice mix of youth coming through as well and there’s boys trying to earn their place.

“The championship has been really tough; the scorelines would definitely suggest all the games have been really tough.

“We hope that that will stand to us, we worked hard in them and tried to find our way and get a bit of a solution to the problems that were posed to us so hopefully that’ll stand in our favour coming into the final.”

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