21 March 2013 No Comments by The Northern Standard

Allianz National Football League

Just two more rounds to go in the NFL and Ulster teams are in the running to scoop titles in the three top divisions. Next year, if things go really pear-shaped for Cavan and Antrim, the Red Hand province might well be in with a chance of winning an historic four titles. Surely nobody of a Breffni or Saffron hue will be hoping that vista becomes a reality.
Tyrone are in pole position to contest the semi-finals of this year’s Division One with only Dublin currently above them, on scoring difference.
The O’Neill County chiselled out a 0-18 to 1-14 victory over a Bernard Brogan-less Dublin at Croke Park last weekend.
“The better team won, that’s the bottom line, we didn’t take our chances when we had them,” said Dublin boss Jim Gavin after the game. Bet he wouldn’t be so philosophical if it was an All-Ireland SFC Qualifier or last eight encounter.
An interesting aside from the result was the fact that Danny McBride became the first man from soccer-mad Strabane to represent Tyrone at HQ.
The 25-year-old Sigerson’s clubman (who started the McKenna Cup final win over Monaghan) came on for the closing stages of the match against the Dubs.
An interesting statistic was hatched from Austin Stack Park, Tralee as well. Kerry’s 0-11 to 1-5 win over fellow division one strugglers Down saved the Kingdom from suffering the ignominy of a fifth successive NFL defeat.
Down boss put his side’s setback down to two things; Kerry’s strong line-out and his own team’s defensive strategy going awry following the enforced substitution of Aidan Carr after 25 minutes.
In truth, the Mournemen were never at the races and finished the first half with just a solitary point (scored after 18 minutes) to their name. The Kingdom enjoyed a 0-8 to 0-1 interval lead.
We don’t know whether the Donegal players enjoyed their flight to Cork but their 0-10 to 0-12 defeat at Pairc Ui Rinn wouldn’t have done anything for their form in the air on the way back north.
Cork were delighted with their third win in a row but news that Colm O’Neill – who had to be carried off …

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