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Star must dig deep to lift title hopes: Fulton



Key man: Liam Pettigrew will need to make a big impact

Key man: Liam Pettigrew will need to make a big impact

Freddie Parkinson

Key man: Liam Pettigrew will need to make a big impact

Belfast Star must be prepared for a brutal battle when they clash with Killorglin in the All-Ireland League tomorrow night, according to coach Adrian Fulton.

The Star men know they have to immediately bounce back from the shock overtime loss at the hands of Moycullen last weekend, when they were within two seconds of victory.

Now, on paper, they face the harder challenge of Killorglin who Fulton knows have the physicality and firepower to further dent Star's title hopes.

Lying three points behind defending champions Tralee, there is little room for error as Star seek to make home advantage count in La Salle College (6.30pm).

"Killorglin are a very big side, they have six professionals and we have to be prepared for a very physical game," said Fulton.

"We'll be giving up size so defensively we will need big games from the likes of Liam Pettigrew, David Jallow and Delaney Blaylock. Not having Conor Johnston this week is a blow but we just have to deal with it.

"We'll have to run and run and run at them and be on our game from the very start. Last week against Moycullen, we were too inconsistent in defence - in the first quarter we gave up 24 points and then in the second we gave up 11 points. That has to change."

Star have received a lift in regard to the ankle injury suffered by Adrian's son, CJ. The teenager played two games for St Malachy's College at the start of the week, scoring 31 and 30 in the All-Ireland play-off quarter-finals and semi-finals, helping his school into the decider at the end of the month.

Dad Adrian added: "The problem last week was that he couldn't train at all but we have seen him play those two games and he has done some training so we are hopeful he will be feeling more like his old self on Saturday.

"It's going to take a big effort and the crowd can play their part with the support they give us."

Belfast Telegraph