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Elliott eyes high five for Antrim

By John Campbell

Seaan Elliott can expect to come in for some close attention from the Derry defence when he lines out with Antrim in tomorrow's Ulster Minor Hurling Championship final at Owenbeg (2pm).

The Dunloy whizzkid has been in sparkling scoring form for the Saffrons this year and his 1-9 underpinned their 1-21 to 0-18 semi-final win over a plucky Down outfit.

But while pleased with Elliott's form, Saffrons manager Collie Murphy believes that Derry will offer a big challenge tomorrow.

"They lost to us in the 2014 and 2015 finals and it's fair to say that they will be looking to make up for that," said Murphy.

"They have good players in their side and have shown that they too possess a definite scoring touch. This is certainly a warning to us."

Certainly in overcoming Donegal by 4-16 to 2-6 in the other Ulster semi-final, Derry underlined their finishing skills with Richie Mullan very much to the fore by compiling a personal haul of 1-9 from play and frees.

Tiarnan McHugh and Tim Rankin are other Derry players well capable of breaching the Antrim defence tomorrow if plied with possession.

While Elliott is undoubtedly the ace in the Saffrons pack, they are far from being a one-man show.

Tiarnan Murphy, Conor McHugh and Ed McQuillan are other players well capable of making life difficult for opponents.

Antrim will be chasing their fifth title on the trot tomorrow but manager Murphy is conscious that Derry's determination to end their trophy famine could inspire them.

"While we have players who are very committed, we know that Derry will come at us strongly and we have to be prepared for this. It is not going to be easy by any means," insisted Murphy.

Derry have to go back to 2001 for their last provincial minor triumph, although they have appeared in several deciders since then but Antrim have proved their masters in the interim - something that certainly has not sat comfortably with the proud Oak Leaf County.

Belfast Telegraph


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