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Roes glad to have Cathal back for key Harps test

OWEN Roes are favourites to prevail in tomorrow evening’s Intermediate Championship opener against Stewartstown – but one of their players admits he doesn’t have a clue how their opponents are faring at the moment.

The east Tyrone side are third from bottom in the Division Two, but that comes as news to Owen Roes stalwart Brendan Boggs, a surveyor by trade.

Speaking on Tuesday evening, he said: “I honestly couldn’t have told you how well they’re doing.

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“I’m getting back from work at 7.30pm and I’m up at 5.30 in the morning. I’m a busy man and I’ve no time to be looking at tables, but they beat us last year in the league so they seem to be a decent team.”

Owen Roes, who are in their second season in Division Two, are a highly commendable ninth in the table at present. If anything, they should be even better in the championship given that Cathal McShane, who is in the form of his life, is back playing with the club after a golden summer with Tyrone.

“Cathal’s been getting on grand since he’s come back. He’s had a great year for Tyrone but I’m sure he’d love to achieve something with the club and end the season on a high note before he picks up all his awards!”

Stewartstown reached the semi-finals of the championship last year, so they do have some pedigree, and the likes of Gerard O’Neill, John Lee and Gareth Devlin have returned to their ranks in time for the championship.

Leckpatrick, meanwhile, have suffered a few league defeats in the last few weeks, including a particularly chastening defeat to Galbally. Boggs said the mood in the camp is still positive, though.

“I have to say that things are always positive. We’d a break in the middle of the season, and we’ve had a few defeats since we’ve come back, but I don’t think it’s getting us down. The results seem to suggest that Galbally are way ahead even before we played them, they’re definitely very impressive.”

Boggs also hopes the side learn from last year’s quarter-final defeat to Augher, who at that stage were favourites to win the championship. They left themselves a mountain to climb as they were nine points down at half-time. The addition of a few talented younger players like Peter O’Flaherty and Damian McCrossan should do no harm though as they aim to make their mark in this year’s championship.

“It was a game of two halves against Augher, we were nine down at half-time and ended up losing by nine points. We wouldn’t have been overly pleased with the result and it’s something to bear in mind this year.”

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The Strabane Chronicle is published by North West of Ireland Printing & Publishing Company Limited, trading as North-West News Group.
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