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Saffrons cannot afford to take promotion as a given: McKinley

Dominic McKinley has been at the coal face of hurling for too long to believe that Antrim are sure-fire candidates for promotion from Division 2A of the Allianz Hurling League.

The Saffrons will meet London at Corrigan Park, Belfast tomorrow and McKinley, part of the four-strong management team, has lost no time in making it clear that his side will need to achieve a fresh level of consistency if they are to improve their league status.

"We have no right to look down on anyone," insisted McKinley.

"There are teams in there along with us who will quite rightly harbour ambitions of making real progress so we have to be up for the challenge.

"It's good to be starting with a home tie but London won't fear us."

The Ulster champions will look to Ciaran Clarke, Conor Johnston, Niall McKenna and Conor McCann to produce the firepower up front that can take them to victory while skipper Simon McCrory, Eoghan Campbell and Conor McKinley will provide experience.

The returns of Paul Shiels, Paddy Burke and Neal McAuley are a boost to the squad although the absence of the vastly-experienced Neil McManus could be felt.

"We have options, however, and that's a bonus," said McKinley.

Belfast Telegraph

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