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Derry boss McLean is not fazed by loss of four players

By John Campbell

Derry hurling manager Tom McLean hasn't his sorrows to seek for today's tricky Christy Ring Cup assignment against Roscommon at Athleague.

He is missing Paddy Kelly, John O'Dwyer, Dara McCloskey and Darrel McDermott because of injury while Anton Rafferty is suspended.

"That's the hand we have been dealt and we just have to get on with it," said McLean.

Roscommon, managed by former Galway player Justin Campbell, gained promotion in the league whereas Derry were relegated which means the teams go into today's tie against rather contrasting backgrounds.

The Rossies won the Nicky Rackard Cup last year and are intent on proving their worth in the Christy Ring competition.

Down face a difficult task against London at Ballycran where home manager Michael Johnston will look to his more experienced corps to chart a possible victory course.

In this respect Conor Woods, Scott Nicholson and Daniel Toner are likely to have key roles.

Armagh, meanwhile, host Donegal at the Athletic Grounds in the Nicky Rackard Cup where they will hope to replicate their earlier league win over the north-west side.

Orchard County boss Sylvester McConnell will look to Ryan Gaffney, Declan Coulter and Cathal Carvill to stockpile scores.

Tyrone will also have home advantage against Mayo. Skipper Aidan Kelly, ace marksman Damien Casey and goal-poacher Conor Grugan can underpin the Red Hands' bid to advance.

Mayo are a strong, robust side and could push the host team to the pin of their collar.

And Fermanagh will face Monaghan in the hope of gaining compensation for their failed bid to clinch promotion to Division 3A. Sean Corrigan, hurler-cum-footballer Daniel Teague and John Paul McGarry can lay the foundations for an Erne win here.

Belfast Telegraph


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