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Carmen and Errigal set for showdown

Thursday 02.06.2011
Team Talk Mag
Club


Carrickmore and Errigal Ciaran, two of the giants of Tyrone football, and winners of twelve senior championships between them in the last eighteen years, have been paired together in the most mouth watering tie of this year’s NIE Energy Tyrone Senior Football Championship.

The former ‘Big Two’ of Tyrone football were the very first teams drawn when the Senior Championship draw was staged at Kelly’s Inn on Thursday night and their meeting will evoke great memories of unforgettable encounters between the two clubs, particularly between 1994 and 2006 when their rivalry was unmatched.

Carrickmore, SFC winners a record 15 times, were runners-up to Coalisland in last year’s championship and won their last title in 2005, while Errigal Ciaran last appeared in the decider in 2006 when they prevented Carrickmore winning three in a row after a replay. That 2006 county final was the most recent of many great showdowns involving these two neighbours.

It’s now five years since either side scaled the championship summit in Tyrone and both have been rebuilding during that time, and they’re now looking posied to mount a major challenge for honours in 2011. However, one of these two teams will not be getting past the first hurdle of the championship.

Apart from the top pairing, there are many other intriguing ties lined up in the 2011 O’Neill Cup race, which will be sponsored for the first time by NIE Energy.

Coalisland will begin the defence of their crown with a clash with Killyclogher, while Dromore, champions in 2007 and 2009, face Moy at the first hurdle. And Clonoe, who lifted the cup in 2008, will get a chance to exact revenge on Trillick for ending their reign in the opening round of the 2009 competition.

Two of the sides promoted from intermediate football last year, Moortown and Eglish, will come face to face in the opening round, while Derrylaughan, another newly promoted outfit, will take on Cookstown, All-Ireland intermediate champions two years ago.

Two of the fancied teams in the O’Neill Cup reckoning, Ardboe and Omagh, will take on Greencastle and Donaghmore respectively.

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