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McKenna Cup kicks off Creggan celebrations

By John Campbell

For five members of the Antrim squad, Sunday's opening game in the Power NI Dr McKenna Cup will have special significance.

The match will take place at the impressive Kickhams Creggan complex near Randalstown and club quintet Martin and Ricky Johnson, Dermot McCann, Oisin Kerr and David McGuckin could get game time on their own patch.

The Creggan club is celebrating its 90th anniversary this year and club chairman Tony McCollum sees the county board's decision to stage games there as the icing on the cake in terms of their celebrations.

"We are delighted to be hosting this Antrim versus Cavan game at this juncture," states McCollum.

"There has been speculation about just where Antrim will play their home games now that Casement Park is to be refurbished and we are glad that the dice has tumbled in our favour.

"The fact that we have five locals in the panel makes it more interesting and to be staging inter-county games is the icing on our anniversary cake."

Cavan will travel bolstered by a buoyant 2013 campaign that saw them reach the All-Ireland quarter-finals, only to lose to Kerry.

Manager Terry Hyland has brought the mercurial Michael Lyng back into his side and although some players are out with injuries, the Breffni outfit is expected to pose a strong challenge for Liam Bradley's team.

"It would be terrific if Antrim could get off to winning start on Sunday," says McCollum.

"Cavan will test them and that will certainly let us know where the county team is at.

"We like to think that our own club players will make a contribution to Antrim's progress in the coming months."

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