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Nash will form big barrier to Middletown

By John Campbell

Middletown manager Martin Currie is acutely aware that one big barrier in particular stands between his team and a place in the All-Ireland Club Intermediate hurling championship final.

The Armagh and Ulster champions confront Cork and Munster title holders Kanturk in tomorrow's semi-final at St Conleth's Park, Newbridge knowing that they have to find a way past the opposition goalkeeper Anthony Nash if they are to have any chance of advancing.

Nash is rated as one of the truly outstanding hurling goalkeepers, not only because of his athleticism and shot-stopping ability, but because of his penchant for delivering precise puck-outs.

The Armagh champions, though, boast their own measure of skill and experience.

Ryan Gaffney, Nathan Currie, Kieran McKiernan, Patrick McBride and the Carvill cousins David and Cathal bolster a team that is strongly focused on All-Ireland glory.

And Donegal side Setanta, who meet Waterford and Munster champions Ardmore in the All-Ireland junior club championship semi-final at Pairc Tailteann, Navan (2.00) are equally determined to do their province proud.

Former Armagh ace Declan Coulter and Kevin Campbell, who have been in hot form lately, form a dynamic partnership up front for the north-west side but they will need to be at their best if red-hot favourites Ardmore are to be halted.

Meanwhile, in the Ulster Under 21 club football tournament Donaghmoyne will meet Gaoth Dobhair in the last of the quarter-finals. Lavey, Carryduff and Southern Gaels are already through to the semi-finals, the draw for which will be made after tomorrow's game.

Belfast Telegraph

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