BORN and bred a Ballinascreen man, only six mile up the road from Desertmartin, this Sunday’s Ulster Club quarter final between St Patrick’s, Donagh and Desertmartin has an extra edge for the Donagh gaffer, Paul Hasson.
The Derry native knows the Derry junior champions well, like very well. Many of the Desertmartin football team play hurling for his club, the ‘Screen, as they don’t have a hurling team and Hasson admits,
“It’ll be weird facing them on Sunday when we know so much about them” adding, “You can know a team too well, if that makes sense.”
Hasson is well aware of their threat and with a number of Derry Minor All Ireland winners in their ranks, they’ll pose a stiff opposition for the Ferrmanagh champions.
“They’re a good young side and there’s no point in saying any word of a lie. They’ll be there or thereabouts, they’ll be in Derry Intermediate for a good few years, I would say they’ll consolidate their intermediate status now for a few years and they’ll be hard to stop.”
In the Derry final, Desertmartin romped to victory, beating Sean Dolan’s 0-12 to 0-2 with county minor Lachlan Murray on target with six frees. Connor Shiels in defence was a mainstay of the Derry All Ireland minor winning team and their management duo of Kevin O’Neill and current Derry intercounty star Chrissy McKaigue can also call on the experience of their captain Martin Breen and Gregory McGovern.
Hasson will be mindful of the Derry men pose but is more than happy to focus on their own game plan.
“We will try and play our own game, what we’ve been doing all year, it’s an old cliche but we can’t focus on what Desertmartin is going to do. We know what they’re capable of and we’ll take it as it comes on the day. Hopefully the way we play will bring us out on top.”
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