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Gleeson has sights on an early boost

 

Winning aim: Keelan Molloy should be on Antrim duty
Winning aim: Keelan Molloy should be on Antrim duty
Neil McManus
John Campbell

By John Campbell

New Antrim hurling boss Darren Gleeson will cut his teeth in the competitive sphere when his side take on Meath in the Kehoe Cup at Pairc Tailteann, Meath (2.00pm).

Gleeson has been applying himself vigorously to formulating his panel and placing the emphasis on strength and conditioning as his team prepare for their opening game of a new campaign.

While Neil McManus will be an absentee as he is on the All-Stars trip to Abu Dhabi, Gleeson is still able to choose from a squad that is a fusion of youth and experience.

Domhnall Nugent along with the Johnston brothers Ciaran and Conor represent St John's and will certainly bring a dash of pace and skill to the side, while Dunloy trio Nicky McKaigue, Eoin O'Neill and Keelan Molloy are also expected to be on duty.

Meanwhile, the Conor McGurk Cup competition will swing into action tomorrow when Armagh host Longford at the Clones Peaceline 3G pitch (1.30pm) while Queen's will face Louth at Pitch 13 The Dub (12.00 noon) and Ulster University take on Down at Pitch 15 The Dub (1.30pm).

Armagh manager Padraig O'Connor views his team's outing against Longford as an opportunity for new players in his side to make their mark.

"We are running the rule over a number of players in advance of the league and the Conor McGurk Cup affords us an excellent opportunity to assess their progress," says O'Connor.

Competition hosts Queen's are understandably anxious to make an impact but they may well be tested by a Louth side that is maturing rapidly.

Ulster University will include several players who have inter-county experience against a Down team that will embrace a generous ration of experience for what should prove an interesting tie.

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