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Ross rejects current talk of an Ulster hurling crisis

By John Campbell

Published 18/04/2015

One of Ulster's leading hurling administrators has responded robustly to claims that the sport is in crisis here.

Armagh Hurling Officer Liam Ross, who has toiled at the coal face in the promotion of the sport, believes a "negative attitude" is not conducive to resurrecting the province's fortunes.

As Tyrone and Donegal prepare to lock horns again today in their Division Two promotion shoot-out replay, Ross points to what he sees as positives as calls are made for an overview of the sport's welfare.

"I know a lot of disappointment has been engendered by the fact that Antrim have slipped into Division Two and while that is understandable, I believe that we are not in a real crisis," insists Ross.

"From our own viewpoint in Armagh, we have just beaten Mayo and Meath, two of the better second-tier sides and then you have the prospect of either Tyrone or Donegal joining ourselves, Derry and Down in Division Two which should help make things interesting next year. I don't think having a negative attitude helps."

And Ross believes that the re-match of Tyrone and Donegal will help to focus the spotlight even more on these emerging counties.

"I think both sides have made great strides and they fully deserve credit for this," states Ross.

"There are a lot of people putting an awful lot of effort into hurling and while we all recognise that we are well off elite standards here in Ulster, nevertheless there is a very committed approach to fostering the sport."

Tyrone manager Mattie Lennon believes Ulster sides will improve by playing better quality opposition.

"Look at Donegal. They have had a season in Division Two and although they are now facing relegation, I think they are the better for having played in the higher bracket," points out Lennon.

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