Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 20 December 2014

Johnny Campbell set to bounce back from his injury nightmare

Johnny Campbell has played only seven games for Loughgiel this year because of recurring injuries.

And that's why the seasoned defender is now anxious to make up for lost time in the Ulster Club Hurling Championship.

Campbell will line out against new Derry champions Kevin Lynch's Dungiven in tomorrow's semi-final at Casement Park fortified by a huge personal desire to help his side retain their provincial accolade.

"This has been a frustrating season for me so far," admits Campbell.

"Obviously I am very pleased to be fit again and to have helped the team retain its Antrim title. But holding onto our Ulster crown and getting a crack at one of the big guns in the All-Ireland series is what I want."

Campbell, outstanding against Cushendall in the Antrim decider, acknowledges that Kevin Lynch's will have taken great heart from their Derry final win over Lavey on Wednesday night.

"They will be up for battle again and we have to be on our guard. We have a bunch of experienced players such as Liam Watson, Martin Scullion, Neil McAuley, Barney McAuley, DD Quinn and Joey Scullion in our side so we are well armed for battle," maintains Campbell.

The fact that his girlfriend Charlene Hamill, sister of Antrim hurler Darren Hamill, is a physiotherapist proved a decided bonus in the lengthy periods during which he found himself sidelined.

"She proved a tower of strength and support and helped me to get fitter much sooner than I expected," adds Campbell.

The winners will meet Down champions Ballycran in the provincial final on October 23.

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