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UUJ's key men in fine fettle ahead of Cup bid

By Declan Bogue

The University of Ulster Jordanstown management team of Benny Hurl, Barney McAleenan and Martin McHugh will have kept a vigil for the safe passage of a number of their players as the National League got under way at the weekend.

Jordanstown begin their Sigerson Cup campaign - they will host the final over the weekend of February 19-20 - tomorrow with a round one game against Garda College (at Jordanstown, throw-in 2pm).

McHugh will have been able to keep an eye on the recovery process of his son Ryan, who played 63 minutes of Donegal's win over Down in the league opener, helping himself to two goals.

He will be a key figure for UUJ, along with county team-mate Patrick McBrearty, who also nabbed a goal in the televised game in Newry.

Cavan's Killian Clarke got a full 70 minutes under his belt against Tyrone as he makes his way back from injury and will be a major player for the Shore Road outfit.

Also tomorrow, St Mary's University College take on Dublin Institute of Technology (Galbally, throw-in 2pm) in their round one fixture. Paddy Tally's men had a decent Dr McKenna Cup campaign in and recorded a victory over Donegal in Section B.

The Ranch have some big names in their ranks this year, with Tyrone full-back Danny McBride committing exclusively for the Sigerson campaign.

However, they will have their own recovery work to do after the weekend. Conal McCann featured as a substitute in Tyrone's win over Cavan, while Kevin McKernan also endured that morale-sapping defeat to Donegal in Down's league opener. Ryan Johnston suffered a hand injury.

Antrim's Matt Fitzpatrick played the entire game against Carlow, while Paddy McBride did not feature.

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