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McManus, Mackey are primed and ready for a major battle

By John Campbell

Two of the province's finest players who have become all too familiar with encountering the pain barrier will be handed key roles when neighbours Monaghan and Cavan clash in the first of the Ulster senior football championship quarter-finals tomorrow.

Monaghan marksman Conor McManus has spent the past year managing a hip problem while Breffni county dynamo Cian Mackey continues to defy a deep-seated groin injury as he prepares once again to serve as a link between defence and attack.

"Our manager Malachy O'Rourke and his backroom staff have been very patient with me and have been flexible in terms of letting me have adequate recovery periods," points out McManus.

"Maybe in other counties someone like myself might have been rushed back but I have been able to pace myself."

McManus will skipper the side against Cavan and rubbishes the theory that they are red-hot favourites to advance.

And it's certain that no one will typify the Cavan resilience more than 28-year-old Mackey, who has worn the county jersey for the past 10 years.

"We were very disappointed with the way things went for us in the Championship overall last year and we want to try and make amends for that now," said Mackey.

"We have a great chance to do just that on Sunday and we want to make the most of it."

Belfast Telegraph


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