‘Enda’ the road for who?

Enda Mc Ginley dodges the challenge from Carrickmore's Conor Gormley. INTT3912-706DCA
Enda Mc Ginley dodges the challenge from Carrickmore's Conor Gormley. INTT3912-706DCA

HAVING secured the Derry senior football title against Slaughtneil just under a fortnight ago, Ballinderry begin their Ulster club campaign on Sunday.

The Shamrocks will square off against Tyrone champions Errigal Ciaran in an eagerly anticipated Ulster quarter final encounter in Healy Park, Omagh.

It is the second successive year that Martin McKinless’s side have met Tyrone opposition at this point, Dromore falling to the Derry champions last season as the Shamrocks had two points to spare.

Ballinderry will meet an Errigal Ciaran side who were very impressive winners of the Tyrone championship, accounting for Omagh, Carrickmore and Dromore along the way before delivering a warning to the Shamrocks with a ruthless demolition of Cavan champions Mullahoran.

Much of the talk in the build up to the game has however surrounded the Errigal manager Ronan McGuckin who has taken a leave of absence from the Errigal sideline for the game.

McGuckin was an integral part of the Ballinderry team for years and played under Martin McKinless when the Shamrocks manager won his first county title as manager in 2006.

McKinless though for his unprecendented success at county level has yet to transfer this success onto the provincial club championship scene.

Such a record will undboubtedly drive the Ballinderry manager and their players as they seek to replicate the success enjoyed by the club 10 years ago now.

There are a few survivors of that successful team still available to McKinless and his management team including the ever reliable Mickey Conlon in goals, defender Kevin McGuckin, midfielder Enda Muldoon and Conleth Gilligan in attack.

The Shamrock’s have also introduced new faces to their team with Derry minor stars Ryan Bell and Gareth McKinless offering the experienced side some youthful exuberance.

Errigal too have great experience to call on with John Devine, David Harte and the McGinley brothers Enda and Cormac no strangers to the Ulster club scene having won the Ulster title themselves in 2002, the last Tyrone club to win the crown.

The Dunmoyle based side also have considerable plenty of younger faces in their side as well, not least Tyrone regulars Peter Harte and Aidan McCrory but also the impressive Thomas Canavan in attack, a nephew of Ballinderry selector Joe.

Perhaps the most mouth watering clash for those planning on making the trip to Omagh on Sunday, is the meeting of veteran midfielders Enda Muldoon and Enda McGinley.

Having been the cornerstone of their respective county sides for much of the last decade, the pair have been in inspirational form this season for their club teams putting in exceptional county final performances.

The Ulster club championship however has no place for sentiment. Sunday will be the end of the journey for one of them.