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UUJ and Queen's hoping to show class in battle to reach Cup final

By Declan Bogue

The Conor McGurk Cup final will feature a college this year, due to the way the last four draw fell.

Tomorrow sees the hosting of the semi-finals, with cross-Belfast rivals University of Ulster, Jordanstown facing Queen's University at 3.30pm at the Dub.

The second semi-final (6pm) features two counties that have fresh optimism for the season ahead, having both made managerial appointments during the winter.

Down, now managed by Marty Mallon who took over from Mickey Johnston, face Derry, who are now under 1993 football All-Ireland winner Collie McGurk.

Down lost the McGurk Cup final last year to Antrim, but with the Saffrons tied up in the Walsh Cup this time around, Mallon will be looking to progress to the decider, although he is without the services of Donal Hughes, Gareth Johnston and Fintan Conway for the season.

McGurk has managed to tempt the Hinphey brothers, Liam Óg and Kevin, back to the Oak Leaf jersey, while he also recruited two members of the Cuala club in Dublin - brothers Cian and Naoise Waldron - to line out through their mother, who hails from the Loup.

Meanwhile, Conor McAtamney, who was previously said to have left the Derry football panel, has been named on the bench for this Sunday's Dr McKenna Cup clash against Down in Newry.

Derry (versus Down, McKenna Cup): T Mallon; R Murphy, O Duffin, C McGrogan; N Forester, C Nevin, P Hagan; P Kearney, A McLaughlin; G O'Neill, R Bell, C McWilliams; N Loughlin, E McGuckin, B Heron.

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