Pearse’s Kilrea v John Mitchel’s Glenullin
Pearse Park, Kilrea
Local rivals Kilrea and Glenullin meet at Pearse Park on Sunday having both suffered defeats in the opening round of the H & A Mechanical Derry ACFL Division 1B.
When these teams met last Spring at the same venue it was a top flight fixture. The hosts prevailed on that occasion, Paddy McNeill propelling them to a three-point victory, but it wasn’t enough for Pearse’s to avoid the drop to 1B on score difference come the end of the season.
Both sides would have been looking to make a positive start to life in 1B but were left smarting on the opening day, suffering heavy defeats.
A prolific Claudy fired six goals past a beleaguered Kilrea side who once again were reliant on talismanic midfielder James Kielt, who notched 0-07 of their 1-10, and Paddy McNeill, who shot 1-01 after being sprung from the bench.
Glenullin were on the end of a nine-point defeat at home to Steelstown and were left counting the cost of indiscipline, losing Eoin Bradley and Brian Mullan to straight red cards. Dermot O’Kane’s free-taking accuracy kept them somewhat in touch but the city men were comfortable in securing victory, despite a late rally from the hosts.
Those red cards picked up last week could have a bearing on Sunday’s game as the Mitchel’s leant heavily on Bradley’s score-taking in last season’s encounter and with Kilrea out to prove a point in front of their home support after shipping six last weekend, it’s the Pearse’s who look the more likely to secure their first points of the 2019 season.