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Cargin's strength in depth has put Frank on guard

By John Campbell

Frank Fitzsimmons jnr is still viewed as one of the frontrunners for the job of Antrim football manager, but tonight club progress rather than county elevation will be his primary focus.

He leads Lamh Dhearg into battle with a Cargin outfit weakened by the absence of key players for an important championship quarter-final tie at the Creggan Kickhams complex (6pm).

Although Justin Crozier, Paul McCann and Kevin O'Boyle, all established county players, will be missing from the Cargin line-up Fitzsimmons is conscious that they have resources on their bench capable of making life difficult.

Lamh Dhearg can still look to the vastly-experienced Paddy Cunningham to galvanise their attack while Conor Murray, Declan Lynch and Ryan Murray are other key players in their side.

Also tonight reigning champions St Gall's hope to take another step towards an eighth successive county title when they meet St Paul's in the last eight at Corrigan Park (6pm).

St Gall's overcame St Mary's, Ahoghill in their opening game and will lean on the combined experience of Kieran McGourty, C J McGourty, Anto Healy, Kevin Niblock, Sean Kelly, Karol Stewart and Aodhan Gallagher to defuse the challenge of a St Paul's side who have the e ergreen Sean McGreevey between the posts.

Creggan Kickhams look to have the defensive strength to curb the challenge of St James', Aldergrove now that the Johnston brothers, Ricky and Martin, are very much back in harness, when the teams meet at Randalstown.

Coleraine Eoghan Rua and O'Donovan Rossa clash in the Derry championship at Owenbeg tonight where Sean Leo McGoldrick, Niall Holly and Ciaran McGoldrick can underpin the Coleraine club's effort to reclaim the county title they won in 2012.

Bryansford and Mayobridge meet in one of the top clashes in the Down championship tonight at Downpatrick where Mayobridge will be bolstered by Benny Coulter and Conor Garvey while Bryansford can look to Kalum King and Danny Savage for inspiration.

Mayobridge were the dominant force in Down until they were superseded by Kilcoo, who will be in action on Monday night when they take on Clonduff at Pairc Esler, Newry (8.30pm).

Kilcoo manager Jim McCorry is being touted as a candidate for the vacant Down job, but for the moment his focus is on bringing Kilcoo to yet another county crown.

The Johnston brothers, Ryan and Jerome, along with Paul Devlin, Paul McEvoy and Conor Lavery will be in the vanguard of Kilcoo's bid to maintain their championship supremacy.

Belfast Telegraph


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