Old guard Burren staring down at Saul in Down SFC opener

Jim McCorry takes charge of Burren
Jim McCorry takes charge of Burren Jim McCorry takes charge of Burren

Down SFC

Down SFC DOWN football giants Burren are overwhelmingly favourites to see off Saul in tonight’s Morgan Fuels Down senior club championship opening round.

It is a momentous occasion for last season’s intermediate club champions as Saul will feature in the senior championship for the first time in 50 years.

The St Mary’s side are aiming to win their 15th senior title, their last was in 2018 and with Jim McCorry at the helm their expectations are high.

The former championship winning manager with Mayobridge and Kilcoo, spent three years alongside Kieran McGeeney at Armagh before the lure of Burren whet his appetite for a return to the club scene.

Of course, McCorry, who manages alongside former Antrim boss Gearoid Adams and past players Eoin McCartan and Stevie O’Hare, is not taking Saul likely.

Burren captain Donal O’Hare and county men Kevin McKernan, Gerald McGovern, Liam Kerr and Peter Fegan are expected to star, while Ryan Magill, son of All-Ireland winner Micael is a special talent.

Saul are managed by Ronan McCartan, who was part of Downs under-20 Ulster championship winning management and he’ll need Cathail Arnold and Down U20 star Ruairi O’Hare to be on form if they are to trouble McCorry’s men tonight.

The Down county board have come under criticism for charging children into the games, but the new Burren boss praised the top brass in the Mourne County.

“I think Down deserve a lot of credit, people like to put the boot into the administrators within counties and clubs that they are not doing enough or this and that, but they arranged the Corn an Dun, which was great from my point of view as I was coming into managing the team in my first year,” said McCorry.

“I was able to see a lot of players and tried different things without county players because I had four county players missing and four under 20s missing and quite a few injuries. So that was good competition they had and then we had the league without relegation so no one was worried about that aspect and you can still try different things

“At one stage this year it was looking like we weren’t going to get a championship at all.

“Corn na Dun was great and the league is great, but everybody really wants to play championship football and that is what we are all excited about.”

The game throws in tonight at 7.30pm in Liatroim.