Down not cowering away from daunting London mission
Five Ulster counties will today bid to extend their interest in the lower tiers of the All-Ireland Hurling Championship. The side facing the most daunting task is Down, who take on London at Ballycran (3.30pm) in the quarter-final of the Christy Ring Cup conscious that their opponents only lost by a point to an energetic Derry side last weekend.
The side facing the most daunting task is Down, who take on London at Ballycran (3.30pm) in the quarter-final of the Christy Ring Cup conscious that their opponents only lost by a point to an energetic Derry side last weekend.
For Down, this is a hugely important game. Manager Michael Johnston is aware that London will be keen to atone for their slip-up against Derry, though.
"They will be coming to us with a siege mentality and we have to be ready for that," states the Down boss.
Armagh and Donegal will cross swords in the semi-final of the Nicky Rackard Cup at the Athletic Grounds (3.00pm) where the home team will be in pole position to reach the decider having beaten their visitors earlier in the year.
Armagh skipper John Corvan has a special reason for hoping to win the trophy.
"The final is the first Saturday in June and our county board has a big fund-raising initiative planned for that night and we would love to bring the trophy to that," says Corvan.
In the other semi-final, Tyrone, with skipper Damien Casey in inspirational form, will meet Roscommon at Carrickmore.
Red Hands boss Mattie Lennon still has injury concerns and his defence could be weakened.
"We thought we were going to have to travel yet again but thankfully we are in front of our fans," states Lennon.
In the Lory Meager Cup, Fermanagh will bid to maintain their recent excellent form when they face neighbours Leitrim at Brewster Park, Enniskillen.