A player who has twice postponed surgery for a troublesome ankle injury could yet find himself involved in the Ulster Club football final.
Kevin Niblock thought the curtain had come down on his involvement with St Gall’s for this year when, after deciding to rest damaged ankle ligaments, he then hurt his ‘good’ankle.
But now the talented utility player, who was deployed as an impact substitute by Antrim manager Liam Bradley during the summer, may get game time in Sunday’s provincial semi-final against Clontibret as a possible prelude to an appearance in the decider.
St Gall’s secretary Brendan Gallagher explains: “Kevin has had problems with both ankles lately but he went in as a substitute against Dromore last Sunday and has apparently had no ill-effects.
“We know he is a quality player and obviously he is a useful option for our manager Lenny Harbinson.”
Niblock’s sharpness up front allied to accuracy has underpinned St Gall’s recent dominance of Antrim football and his decision to put ankle surgery on hold is seen as a boost for his team’s chances of progress.
“We all thought Kevin’s luck was right out because of his double ankle setback but while he will still have to undergo surgery on one of his ankles when our involvement in the Ulster Club campaign is over, it’s very encouraging that he is able to be part of our set-up at the moment,” adds Gallagher.
Last Sunday, St Gall’s suffered a setback prior to their clash with Dromore when experienced defender Colin Brady hurt his back.
“Colin was outstanding for Antrim this year and was quite rightly nominated for an Allstar award.
“We could certainly be doing with him on Sunday, especially as Clontibret have some very sharp players in their attack so we are keeping our fingers crossed for him. He has a lot of experience, is a good man-marker and can inspire his colleagues,” explains Gallagher.