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Armagh likely to fail in any appeal to push back senior final

 

By Declan Bogue

It is looking increasingly unlikely that Armagh will have any success in their appeal to the Ulster Council to postpone this Sunday's Ulster senior hurling final.

An official appeal is yet to be received in writing, but Armagh manager Sylvester McConnell vowed they would be seeking some respite from a hectic playing schedule.

The Orchard hurlers staged a late surge to beat Down in the provincial semi-final in Inniskeen on Saturday and while they are due to face Antrim in the hurling showpiece this Sunday, their Nicky Rackard campaign is set to begin just six days later with an opener against Donegal.

"We will not be looking at that game next week and neither will Antrim, because Antrim play Carlow and we play Donegal," said McConnell.

"Donegal is a very tricky game for us. Are we going to degrade the Ulster Championship by putting out a dummy team, and Antrim putting out a dummy team? Or, do we look into a re-fixture?"

The Ulster final has been delayed in previous years, and once upon a time was played in winter.

Referencing the Down team arriving late to the semi-final when their team bus could not get underneath a low bridge en route to the venue, causing the tie to be delayed, McConnell added: "I know the Ulster Council don't want to change it, but they changed the time there for a team that came late on the bus to an Ulster Championship game.

"We will be asking for the favour of changing it, that's just the way it is."

Meanwhile, Monaghan will be sweating on the results of a scan on their talismanic midfielder Darren Hughes after he was taken off early in a club game on Saturday.

It is believed that he was due to get a scan on his knee after coming off in Scotstown's league win over Clontibret, and manager Malachy O'Rourke will be keen on a clean bill of health.

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