GAA Football

Carrickmore dual star Ruairi Slane happy to be in two county finals

Carrickmore's Ruairi Slane and Sean Donnelly put pressure on Errigal Ciaran attacker Darragh Canavan.
Francis Mooney

Carrickmore's dual star Ruairi Slane is chasing Championship glory on two fronts, with a couple of county finals in the space of a week.

He'll line out for the Eire Og hurlers in this weekend's hurling decider against Naomh Colum Cille, and a week later football will take centre stage as Carmen chase a first title since 2005 in the decider against Errigal Ciaran.

Slane is relying on the understanding of both management teams as he prepares for two of the biggest games of his life.

"The two management teams work well together, they manage the load well," he said. "They want the best for the player, and that's one of their main thoughts and ambitions, and that suits us down to the ground.

"It will be a busy time with the hurling final this weekend, but what else would you rather be at?

"It's a pleasure to be involved in both set-ups and I'm looking forward to the two finals, it's a great feeling.

"It's this Championship time of year, and that's why you do the running and gym sessions all year round."

The wing-back played a key role in Carrickmore's Tyrone SFC semi-final victory over Clonoe at the weekend as the county's most successful club made it through to a first final appearance since 2014.

"In 2014 we were just young cubs, and it's great to be back, great to get the buzz back in the town with a final coming up now. But we'll put the heads down, get to work and get ready for it."

Carrickmore have been building steadily in recent times, winning a Division One League title last season and making further strides in Championship this year.

"We got put out by Coalisland last year in the quarter-finals and we felt that we had left a stone unturned there

"We sat down at the start of the year and we said, 'Look, we know ourselves that we are better and we can go on further.' So thankfully we have got to a final."

The last couple of games demanded typical Carmen resolve as they protected slender leads to carve out results against Loughmacrory and Omagh.

"Hard work is one of our core values. If a game is not going your way you can still work hard, work for the team, put the miles in, and you'll always come round and come into the game.

"Clonoe is a great Championship side, they have plenty of pedigree, with the likes of Declan McClure and Connor McAliskey, and you know you're in for a battle when you're playing those boys.

"And the boys clocked up the miles towards the end of the game. Thankfully we had enough to get over the line, and we're happy to get out the right side of the result."

It was teenager Lorcan McGarrity who provided the silky finishing skills, his six points helping his side to a three points semi-final win.

"Lorcan is a Rolls Royce footballer. If you put it in high or low he'll get it, he's not afraid to take his man on, and he's got two feet that are just as good as each other.

"We're happy to have him, and if we can get the ball into his hands as much as possible we'll be happy."

GAA Football