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Hotshot Rogers aiming to net Cup glory for Derry

Armagh v Derry, Nicky Rackard Cup Final: Croke Park, Today, 3.00pm

By John Campbell

When Brendan Rogers lines out with the Derry football team his preoccupation is with restricting opponents in terms of scoring.

But it's a rather different story when he dons his hurling hat for the Oak Leaf County as he will do today for the Nicky Rackard Cup final against Armagh at Croke Park (3pm).

Instead of striving to prevent scores, Rogers will be doing his utmost to keep the Headquarters scoreboard ticking over as he bids to replicate the form he has shown to date in the competition.

In Derry's runaway 8-24 to 1-14 win over Longford, Rogers helped himself to 3-2, while in the equally facile victory against Monaghan (6-17 to 1-12) he was just as rampant in totting up a personal haul of 3-1.

While this devastating firepower has helped to underpin his side's cruise into the decider, Rogers is all too aware that Armagh's recent renaissance poses a big threat to his side.

The Orchard have encountered rather more formidable opposition to date than their Oak Leaf rivals and manager Sylvester McConnell attributes their revival to two reasons.

"We have been getting players back from injury slowly but surely, and the lads who got their chance in the side when those boys were out gained in experience which is standing to them," pointed out McConnell.

"Now it's great to be going to play in a final at Croke Park. This is where all players want to perform."

David Carville, Ryan Gaffney, Nathan Curry, Conor Corvan and Cathal Carvill will again underpin an Armagh side that will go into the game as underdogs.

But manager McConnell does not necessarily see this as a disadvantage.

"I think we have earned our place in this final and we have to show the right level of belief and commitment if we are to come good. It's a tough test but we are up for it," he said.

Armagh: S Doherty; C Clifford, A McGuinness, C Devlin; J Corvan, P Gaffney, T Nevin; N Curry, E Curry; C Carvill, E McGuinness, C Corvan; R Gaffney, D McKenna, D Carville.

Derry: D McDermott; P Turner, S Cassidy, D McCloskey; P Cleary, O McCloskey, L Og Hinphey; C McAllister, C McKaigue; G Bradley, M McGrath, A Grant; B Rogers, B Cassidy, C Waldron.

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