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Ulster Championship: Down and Antrim injury woe

Four Ulster county football bosses are keeping their fingers crossed as they continue to check on the availability of key players now that the Championship season is almost upon us.

Down manager James McCartan is awaiting confirmation of the extent of Benny Coulter’s hamstring injury while Antrim boss Liam Bradley has had to ship yet another blow with Tómas McCann damaging his ankle ligaments.

The injuries to Coulter and McCann could not have come at a worse time and the latter’s misfortune has prompted Bradley to set next weekend as a deadline for his walking wounded to prove their fitness for the clash with Donegal on May 15.

Donegal manager Jim McGuinness, whose side was afflicted by a litany of injuries in the build-up to yesterday’s Division Two final against Laois, is hopeful that experienced campaigner Christy Toye, an absentee during the National League, will be fit for the Ulster series.

And Tyrone supremo Mickey Harte is still awaiting confirmation that Philip Jordan, his best player by some distance last year, will make himself available for Ulster Championship selection.

Meanwhile, Armagh enjoyed a bonus at the weekend when they beat Derry 3-6 to 1-10 in the final of the Ulster Minor League.

Armagh led by 2-5 to 0-10 ten minutes into the second half, their goals having come from Paul McGeown and Conor McNally and a strong last quarter ultimately helped them over the line.

Conor McAtamney grabbed Derry’s goal but a third Armagh goal from Jer Hall sealed success for the Orchard County.

In the Ulster Minor Shield final Donegal beat Tyrone by 3-10 to 0-10.

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