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Irish Sports Desk Tyrone take aim at Kerry

February 16, 2011

By Staff Reporter

By Sean Creedon

After beating Dublin on their own Parnell Park ground in the first round of the Allianz National Football League, Tyrone will be hoping to add the scalp of All-Ireland champions Kerry when they meet at Omagh on Sunday.

Tyrone introduced seven under 21 players against Dublin and forwards Stephen O’Neill and Eoin Mulligan looked like great prospects. Tyrone should have the Canavan brothers Pascal and Peter, back on Sunday. They were rested for the opening game as they had a Ulster championship club game with Errigal Chiarain pending. Kerry, who have many players involved in club action, will probably not take the League too seriously.

Managers come and managers so, but it looks like Sean Boylan goes on forever. The Dunboyne herbalist has just begun his 18th season in charge of Meath, who opened their League campaign with an away win over Clare. On Sunday The Royals should pick up another two points at home to Sligo.

Former Mayo defender Peter Forde got of to a winning start to his managerial career two weeks ago when Sligo beat Fermanagh at Markievicz Park, but the Royals in Navan is a different proposition.

O’Sullivan hits her stride

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Following her surprise victory in the Dublin City Marathon, Sonia O’Sullivan says she has no immediate plans to change to the 26-mile event. O’Sullivan is taking a holiday in New York with partner Nick and daughter Ciara before she gets back into warm weather training in Australia. Her next major race will be the World Cross Country Championships, which will be held in Leopardstown Racecourse in South County Dublin in February.

But while O’Sullivan goes from strength to strength, spare a thought for our other top female runner, Catherine McKiernan. The Cavan runner, who was fancied to do well in the marathon at Sydney, is still not back training and at this stage must be extremely doubtful for the championships.

"I’d love to run in at Leopardstown, but time is running out," McKiernan said. "I still have an injury. It’s not that serious, but I cannot train in comfort with it.

"It’s a matter now of getting help and direction, but it’s hard to get straight answers about the injury and that’s a fear. It’s not like do, A, B, C and then go back

training. I’ve been going from Billy to Jack."

Soccer snoozer

The series between the Eircom League of Ireland and the Smirnoff Irish League was revived after a gap of six years last week, but only 500 supporters turned up on a wet night in Galway to see the Northern League win 2-0. The game was fixed for Galway in recognition of the improvements that the West of Ireland club have made at Terryland.

But Eircom League manager Dermot Keely said that part of the reason for the poor turnout was that supporters in the South don’t known the Irish League players. That’s very true. They know all about the English and Scottish Leagues but very little about the Irish League, except the players from the South who have moved to Irish League.

Now officials on both sides of the border have agreed in principle to All-Ireland Cup competition between the 42 senior teams in the country next year. Eircom League officials are also looking at the possibility of playing a top English club in Dublin in December or January.

Hurling, football draws

The draws for next year’s All-Ireland hurling and football championships will be made live on RTE Television on Sunday. Cork and Kerry have failed to introduce a seeding system in Munster. They claimed that the open draw devalued the Munster championship and also affected gate receipts. But they need not worry,

under the new backdoor system in football, Cork and Kerry will almost certainly have their day out in Croke Park next year, whether it’s the All-Ireland quarter or semifinals.

Jordan optimistic

Eddie Jordan is optimistic that a new works engine deal with Honda will turn his Formula One team into world champions. Jordan’s team used Mugen-Honda last season, but is switching to works Honda units in 2001.

"It’s a huge opportunity for us," Jrdan said. "We have won some races in the past, but we have never been a major contender for a championship."

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