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Flood is last line of defence

By Declan Bogue

Antrim manager Liam Bradley has pulled a couple of major surprises in naming his side for Sunday's upcoming Ulster Championship match against Fermanagh.

Patrick Flood, the 24-year-old midfielder with St Enda's, has been named as goalkeeper for his first ever inter-county match.

Flood is not believed to have played for Antrim at any level, and introducing him at this stage seems an enormous risk.

However, he does fit the criteria of Bradley's preferred type of goalkeeper.

What may appeal to Bradley about Flood is his background as Ballyclare Comrades goalkeeper in soccer. 'Baker' previously favoured Sean O'Neill – another outfield player with his club Davitts – who has gone on to play for Crusaders in Irish League soccer.

Flood also takes long-range frees for his club and could be presented with the responsibility, especially when you consider that renowned freetaker Paddy Cunningham begins on the bench.

Another surprise from Bradley is the naming of wing-forward Paul McCann. The youngest of three McCann brothers on the starting team, Paul has never made an appearance for the Antrim seniors before now.

Elsewhere, Antrim hurling manager Kevin Ryan makes one change from the side that beat Laois last week, Michael Bradley coming in for Simon McCrory to face Wexford in a raft of positional switches.

ANTRIM (USFC V Fermanagh): P Flood; K O'Boyle, R Johnston, N Delargy; M Johnston, J Crozier, J Laverty; M McCann, N McKeever (capt); C Murray, M Sweeney, P McCann; B Neeson, K Niblock, T McCann

ANTRIM (LSHC V Wexford): C O'Connell; O McFadden, C McKinley, M Bradley; A Graffin, N McAuley, N McManus; E Campbell, Ciaran Johnson; C McCann, C Carson, C Clarke; Conor Johnson, P Shiels, PJ O'Connell

WEXFORD (LSHC V Antrim): M Fanning; L Ryan, M O'Hanlon, K Rossiter; L Chin, A Shore, C Kenny; D O'Keefe, H Kehoe; P Morris, P Doran, J Guiney; R Jacob, C McDonald, L Óg McGovern.

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