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Postponed Armagh showdown with Antrim may be 'jinxed'

By John Campbell

When Armagh met Antrim in the Ulster U21 football championship last year, the match was beset with problems. The throw-in was delayed because of a lack of turnstile operatives and the game then went to a replay, proving something of a long drawn-out saga.

Last night's scheduled meeting between the counties at the Athletic Grounds in the same competition was bedevilled by even greater misfortune.

With both teams out on the field and ready to start, the floodlights were suddenly extinguished.

A frantic half-hour of endeavour failed to locate the problem and the game was eventually postponed.

It has been re-arranged for Sunday at the Athletic Grounds at 2.00pm when fans will be admitted free of charge.

And Antrim had actually been drawn at home for the game but had forfeited this advantage because a pitch with suitable floodlights was not available within the county for the fixture.

"You couldn't make it up," remarked one Armagh official. "We had perfect weather for this game and a decent crowd and then this happens. There must be a jinx over the fixture but maybe things will come good on Sunday."

Armagh manager Steven McDonnell believes, though, that the re-fixture on Sunday will permit their next opponents to weigh up his side should they be successful against the Saffrons.

"Obviously there is not much you can do about this," he said. "But certainly our next opponents or Antrim's as the case may be will have the advantage of assessing us at first hand and will be better prepared for the semi-final. That's something you have to accept."

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