Malachy O'Rourke will be back on the Derry championship scene in Sunday's clash with Bellaghy. (Pic: Mary K Burke)
Glen take on Bellaghy as Malachy O'Rourke returns to the Derry SFC on Sunday afternoon.
O'NEILL'S DERRY SFC ROUND 1
Glen v Bellaghy
Sunday (2.00) - Glen
Ref: Kieran O'Connor (Slaughtmanus)
As they trotted off at half time in the league game, Glen were firmly in control, but without their county players were unable to keep their grip on the game.
After passing up goal chances to put the game out of sight, it came back to bite them as Lorcan Spier kicked a wonder point to win the game. Only Conleth McGuckian really stepped up to the plate, but Sunday will be a different kettle of fish.
With Conor Glass back, it allows new manager Malachy O'Rourke to move some of his key players around.Ciaran McFaul has been a revelation at number six.
Bellaghy have not played with a sweeper so far and if they change it up for the championship, Connor Carville – if listed at corner back – could come out and play as sweeper, allowing McFaul to boss the game.
Glen have an exciting look to their side and the tools to put a youthful Bellaghy under the cosh. John McKeever's side look exciting when they can get Conleth McShane and Declan Cassidy on the run, but if Conor Glass plays like he did for Derry, that middle channel will be clogged. And if they strip Glen of the ball, Michael Warnock and Ethan Doherty have the direct running to hurt them going the other way. Just ask Swatragh from their league encounter.
Bellaghy have recovered from their hammering to Lavey in the first game of the season and have blooded new players to senior action, but this is a different scenario.
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