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Top clubs aim to hurl out a fresher image for Antrim

By John Campbell

Antrim hurling is certainly at a low ebb just now but the Senior County Championship now offers an opportunity for a measure of redemption.

Four quarter-finals are listed for this weekend with Loughgiel and St Gall's and Ruairi Og (Cushendall) and Creggan Kickhams due to meet today in a tasty double bill.

Tomorrow, St John's will take on O'Donovan Rossa while Cuchullains (Dunloy) will confront McQuillans (Ballycastle).

Loughgiel and Ruairi Og look to be strong candidates for semi-final places while O'Donovan Rossa may have the edge over St John's because of the presence of players such as Michael Armstrong and Gavin Bell in their ranks.

But the meeting of Cuchullains and McQuillans could prove an epic clash. Cuchullains will be bolstered by Conor McKinley, Kevin Molloy and Nigel Elliott while McQuillans will look to Saul McCaughan and Neal Macauley.

In the Derry Hurling Championship semi-finals, Kevin Lynch's should march on at the expense of Banagher while Slaughtneil may carry too many big guns for Swatragh. The Hinphey brothers, Kevin and Liam, along with Mark Craig help to underpin Kevin Lynch's while Chrissy McKaigue, Brendan Rogers and Cormac O'Doherty help to backbone Slaughtneil, who should win comfortably.

In the Tyrone Hurling Championship final, Eire Og (Carrickmore) will hope to repeat their win in last year's decider against Eoghain Ruadh (Dungannon) when the sides renew their rivalry. Aidan Kelly and the Grogans, Conor and Sean Og, can fire up the holders but Damien Casey's marksmanship could ignite Dungannon's challenge.

In the Armagh Senior Football Championship, Pearse Og will face St Patrick's, Cullyhanna while Wolfe Tones will take on Grange.

And there are two particularly attractive quarter-final ties in the Down Senior Football Championship tomorrow with Burren facing Mayobridge and Warrenpoint taking on champions Kilcoo, who are looking for their fifth title on the trot.

In the Tyrone Senior Football Championship tomorrow, Kildress and Augher will meet while Strabane will face Dromore as the competition begins to hot up.

Belfast Telegraph

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