Tiarnach Donaghy up against Steelstown's Gareth Logue in the 2018 clash of the teams. (Pic: Mary K Burke)
Last year's runners up Steelstown begin this year's championship campaign at home to Lissan on Sunday.
McFEELY GROUP DERRY IFC GROUP C
Steelstown v Lissan
Sunday (3.30) – Steelstown
Ref: Richie Donoghue (Slaughtneil)
For much of last year's final, Steelstown had victory in their own hands, before coming unstuck in the heat of battle.
Their attacking threat dried up when they needed it most.
One year on, Hugh McGrath has taken over from Eamon Gibson and Steelstown are again among the contenders.
During the league, they fired players galore into the side. Ben McCarron was on county duty, while Mickey McKinney and Neil Forester were used sparingly. There has also been a return for goalkeeper Marty Dunne.
Kevin Lindsay has been back at full-back, with Eoghan Concannon playing at wing-back. Elsewhere Oran Fox and Jason McAleer are the newcomers in defence.
Derry U20 player Cahir McMonagle hasn't featured since mid-summer, but Morgan Murray, Mark Foley and McCarron have helped take the scoring burden off top scorer Rory Maguire.
Kieran O'Kane stepped down as Lissan manager on Friday night for 'personal reasons'. A Lissan team without a win ran Drumsurn to a 0-11 to 0-10 defeat on the opening day of the season, but has been decimated by injuries on the top of the players that left to go travelling last season.
The surprise element of their win over Glenullin is a distant memory. They will need big performances from Oran Donnelly and the Donaghy brothers – Tiarnach and Iarlaith – to give them a platform.
They have been the lowest scoring team in the league and it's hard to look past a winning start for the city side.
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