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Carryduff boss braced for toughest assignment

John McGeough, pictured in action against Bredagh, was the hero for Carryduff in the last round and they’ll be hoping to reach the Down SFC semi-final at the expense of Clonduff on Sunday John McGeough, pictured in action against Bredagh, was the hero for Carryduff in the last round and they’ll be hoping to reach the Down SFC semi-final at the expense of Clonduff on Sunday
By Paddy Tierney

Morgan Fuels Down Senior Football Championship quarter-final
Carryduff v Clonduff (Sunday, 3pm, Bryansford)

IT’S often said you learn more from a defeat than a win, but Carryduff boss DJ Morgan is hoping his side can take plenty from their last-gasp victory over neighbours Bredagh last month.

The South Belfast rivals clashed in the second round of the Down SFC with a late 1-1 salvo from John McGeough giving his side a dramatic 1-10 to 0-11 victory at Laitroim.

The Harps lost out to Longstone in the next round while Carryduff face a huge task when they take on Division One outfit Clonduff in Sunday’s quarter-final clash in Bryansford.

Carryduff look destined for the Division Two title and only require one point from their remaining two games with Bredagh now the only team who can deny them.
The rivals will meet again with a re-fixture still pending prior to the cut-off date of Saturday, October 5. To complicate matters, Carryduff and Bredagh will also meet in the final of the Down Intermediate Hurling Championship final next weekend so any football clash would have to be after that.

A win over Clonduff this weekend would add to Carryduff’s fixture-list, but Morgan is under no illusions as to the size of the challenge facing his side this weekend.

Only Kilcoo and Burren are above Clonduff in the Division One standings, but Mark Harte’s men were beaten in round two, 0-19 to 1-10 by Warrenpoint.

Prior to that, they defeated Saval 5-9 to 3-6 and secured their quarter-final berth with a comfortable 3-14 to 1-13 win over Bryansford.

Clonduff will enter the game as favourites and Morgan feels it is a similar challenge to the one his side faced last year when they were pitted against Burren in round two, but ultimately fell short against Paddy O’Rourke’s side.

“Clonduff were the pace-setters for a long while in Division One early doors,” said Morgan.

“They were playing some great football and they’ve some great talent – the likes of Aidan Carr, Ross Carr, Barry O’Hagan, Darren O’Hagan, Arthur McConville.

“It is good to be playing against a team of that standard. If this is where our boys want to be; they are going to get a good test on Sunday. This is what they are going to be meeting week-in, week-out if they get into Division One next year.

“That’s going to be the big thing, we’ll find out if they’ve learned anything from the Burren defeat last year.

“I am hoping they have. We gave Burren a six-point lead last year. We then started to play and got it back to within one and they scored a wonder goal before half-time, which killed the game a bit.

“Hopefully, the boys have picked up from that, but Sunday will tell the tale.”

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