I Darr say we can all be bet­ter

Sunday Mirror (Northern Ireland) - - Sport - BY ORLA BAN­NON BY PAUL KEANE

DAR­REN HUGHES be­lieves Scot­stown’s county men must raise their game if the club are to be crowned Ul­ster cham­pi­ons.

The club skip­per has been crit­i­cal of his own form en route to to­day’s pro­vin­cial show­down with Gwee­dore in Omagh.

He also feels the likes of Conor McCarthy, Shane Carey, his brother Kieran and All Star keeper Rory Beg­gan must lead by ex­am­ple.

Hughes said: “When you go back af­ter the county scene, it’s not that you have to do ev­ery­thing, but there’s a pres­sure on you to play to the top of your game.

“In fair­ness to the boys, we take the best out of each other. A lot of boys stepped up to the plate in the semi-fi­nal against Col­eraine when none of us that are county play­ers were in the top five.

“Some­times we get des­ig­nated roles on cer­tain days – for ex­am­ple, the way I play mid­field for Scot­stown is to­tally dif­fer­ent to the way I would play there for Mon­aghan.

“There is that sprin­kling of qual­ity on both teams and I don’t think it’s any co­in­ci­dence that be­tween our­selves and Gwee­dore, there’ll be about 12, 14 county play­ers on show.”

Hughes reck­ons to­day’s Ul­ster club fi­nal will have to be some­thing spe­cial to make it to the top of his favourite foot­ball mo­ments.

Win­ning a first pro­vin­cial ti­tle with Scot­stown might just make it to num­ber one, but he can’t be sure.

“I still put it on record that the best day I ever had on a foot­ball pitch was the 2013 Ul­ster fi­nal against Done­gal,” says the Mon­aghan star.

“To be Ul­ster cham­pi­ons af­ter try­ing for so long, and against a Done­gal team that were reign­ing All-Ire­land cham­pi­ons, that day has still to be matched.

“We will see what

Sun­day brings. Who knows? It might be a dif­fer­ent story on Mon­day morn­ing.” CONAL KEANEY ad­mits he wouldn’t have com­plained if Bally­bo­den St Enda’s had been dumped out of the Le­in­ster club cham­pi­onship by Coold­erry.

The sides played out one of the great club games over al­most 100 min­utes at Par­nell Park, with the scores fin­ish­ing 5-28 to 5-25 – a to­tal of 83 points.

Keaney was one of four play­ers sent off while Colm Basquel hit 3-3 on his de­but and Brian Car­roll (right) scored 2-16 on an epic af­ter­noon.

Keaney said: “It was frus­trat­ing re­ally, I didn’t think we had any bleed­ing backs at all, any time they went down the field they seemed to get a goal. Any high ball in, back of the net.

“No mat­ter what we did, go six or seven points up, even nine points up, they’d come back. It was end­less.

“If the ref­eree blew up af­ter 60 min­utes and they were win­ning by a point, I wouldn’t have ar­gued.

“They nearly de­served to nick it in the end be­cause we were nearly fall­ing over the line.

“Once it went to ex­tra-time, we had enough in the legs.”

MISTS OF TIME Conal Keaney has faced Bal­ly­hale boss Henry Sh­ef­flin many times over theyears

IT IS TIME TO STEP UP Scot­stown’s Dar­ren Hughes

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