GList: Shooting the lights out

We take a look at the top scorers in Ulster since the start of the 2024 season…

1. Shane McGuigan (2-61)

DERRY star Shane McGuigan tops the scoring rankings nearly four months into the season with 2-61 to his name across the McKenna Cup and National Football League. McGuigan was named at full-forward in last year’s All-Star team and he’s carried that form into this year’s campaign. It’s hard to single out any particular performance but we thought he was particularly impressive in their sole defeat of the year to date, a loss to Dublin in Celtic Park. He scored four points from play and won a bagful of frees, converting three of them, in a tigerish display against the county’s standard-bearers.

2. Paddy Lynch (1-56)

PADDY Lynch is Cavan’s main scoring threat up front and he’s tallied a grand total of 1-56 this season to date. The bulk of his scores have come from the dead ball – 44 frees and one mark – but there’s nothing wrong with having a reliable free-taker and he’s done an excellent job in that respect. He was in top form in Cavan’s defeat to Fermanagh at the weekend, scoring a cracking goal and seven points in an otherwise disappointing day out for the Breffni men.

3. Pat Havern (0-46)

DOWN have a Division Three final coming down the tracks and one of the many reasons for their successful promotion tilt was the form of Pat Havern, who has scored 46 points since the season threw in, 20 of which came from play. While Havern has been Down’s main threat in a scoring sense, by no means are they a one-man band and the team as a whole scored 145 points across their seven Division Three matches, second only to the Dubs at national level, who mustered a mammoth 153 points in the same spell.

4. OisÍn Gallen (3-34)

GALLEN earned plaudits far and wide for a string of accomplished performances in Donegal’s run to the Division Two title in 2019 when only a teenager, but injury curtailed his progress and he started an intercounty game at senior level for the first time last year. He’s wasted no time in nailing down an automatic starting berth and has been in sensational form in front of the posts in a fruitful few months for the Donegal footballers. In total he’s scored 3-34, a statistic which includes 19 points from open play.

5. Patrick McBrearty (1-33)

MCBREARTY found himself injured in Donegal’s league encounter against Meath last weekend and Donegal fans will be praying that he recuperates in time for their blockbuster Ulster Championship clash against Derry, if not their Division Two final against Armagh this weekend. McBrearty has been one of the best in the business for more than a decade and is in his second year as Donegal county. Blessed with a wand of a left foot, he’s supremely reliable, hard-working and accurate.

6. Darragh Canavan (2-29)

DARRAGH Canavan had a brilliant 2023 on a personal level, winning an All-Star nomination but he’s arguably upped it another notch in the opening months of 2024. He’s won four man of the match awards since the end of January – three whilst playing for Tyrone as well as starring for Ulster University in their Sigerson Cup final win over UCD. He’s a joy to watch and his goal against Monaghan, running half the length of a mucky (putting it mildly) pitch before toe-poking the ball soccer-style into the net will live long in the memory.

7. Conor Turbitt (2-27)

ARMAGH’S representative in the top ten, Conor Turbitt has had a fine season to date as the Orchard County secured their promotion back to the top flight at the first time of asking. Since the word go, he’s totted up 2-27 for his side and he was the driving force in their victory over Kildare, posting 1-5. He was also pivotal in their opening day league win over Louth, hitting two late scores that secured a 0-12 to 0-11 victory against the Wee County.

8. Garvan Jones (1-29)

IT wasn’t a happy league campaign for Fermanagh, finishing up in relegation to Division Three despite bettering Cavan on the final day, but Garvan Jones can be happy with his personal contribution since the beginning of the 2024 season with 1-29 to his name. Honing in on his league performances, he scored 1-24 in seven matches, saving the best for last with a 1-8 salvo against Cavan last Saturday.

9. Jack McCarron (2-23)

MONAGHAN stalwart Jack McCarron is ninth on our list with 2-23 to his name heading into their Ulster Championship preliminary round encounter at home to Cavan in just over a week’s time. He sat out last weekend’s dead rubber clash against Roscommon alongside his attacking colleague Conor McManus, two experienced campaigners who could yet again play a significant role for the Farney come championship time.

10. Dominic McEnhill (2-19)

ROUNDING off our list is Antrim footballer Dominic McEnhill. He caught the eye last season with his consistently impressive attacking displays and he’s had a good start to 2024. He was the star of the show in their Division Three opener against Limerick with a scoring haul of 1-6 and he’ll be looking to have another stellar championship.

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