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McManus left on the bench due to injury nightmare

Hurling

By Declan Bogue

Neil McManus will start today's crucial Joe McDonagh Cup game on the bench after horrific injuries sustained in Antrim's win against Carlow last week in Corrigan Park.

Saffrons joint-manager Terence 'Sambo' McNaughton told the Belfast Telegraph earlier this week that he expected McManus to start, but it would appear that, unless they have named a dummy team, he will be held back until later in the game.

In the Christy Ring Cup, Down have a trip to London tomorrow, where they face a tasty-looking outfit who beat Derry last week.

Down themselves had a relatively facile win over Armagh, who have been in disarray ever since Paddy Kelly stepped down as manager during the National League. There is a real sense that the progress Armagh have made in recent times while Sylvester McConnell was manager could be spoiled.

They face Derry at home today, but there is no chance of Collie McGurk's dual players, Chrissy McKaigue and Brendan Rogers, playing hurling this weekend ahead of Derry meeting Donegal next weekend.

In the Nicky Rackard Cup, Monaghan have a trip over to Warwickshire today, who beat them during the National League and have been competitive at this level.

Donegal are only one win away from confirming their place in the semi-finals and it would seem likely they can pull this off at home against neighbours Leitrim tomorrow.

Meanwhile, Fermanagh hurlers have a rare day in the sun with their Lory Meagher Cup opener against Cavan fixed as the curtain-raiser to tonight's Ulster Championship clash.

Belfast Telegraph

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