By Michael McMullan
MEEHAUL McGrath could be in line for a start when Ulster champions Sleacht Néill continue their Derry Senior Hurling Championship defence this weekend.
Michael McShane’s side host Swatragh on Sunday (4pm) in a parish derby with a draw would be enough to see them top the group ahead of the semi-finals.
McGrath missed much of the season after a broken arm sustained during a training session with Derry hurlers.
He missed Sleacht Néill hurlers’ championship wins over Na Magha and Lavey, but looked sharp when he made his return for the club’s reserve footballers in Saturday’s win over Newbridge.
Speaking after their Lavey win, McShane was expecting McGrath, Gerald Bradley, Brendan Rogers and Cormac O’Doherty to be pushing for a return against Swatragh.
McGrath was the only one the quarter togged out for the footballers last weekend.
Should the Emmet’s top their group, they will be kept apart from rivals Kevin Lynch’s in the semi-final if Shane Elliott’s side avoid defeat to Ballinascreen in this weekend’s tie of the round.
On the football front, Connor Carville made his return for Glen in their win over Banagher last weekend.
The skipper was forced off late in their Ulster semi-final defeat to Kilcoo with a troublesome knee injury and the start follows on from his reserve appearance against Claudy the previous week.
Malachy O’Rourke was still without Ciaran McFaul and Jack Doherty from last year’s winning team for their 1-20 to 0-11 win on Sunday, but there was a first outing of the season for Conor Glass.
Glen were also bolstered by the return of former captain Cathal Mulholland and Cahir McCabe after injury, with defender Conor Gallagher also making a claim for spot after his own knee problems.
The champions will face Swatragh in their last group game where they need a win to secure top spot.
The Davitt’s are ahead on score difference thanks to a 5-20 to 0-5 hammering of Claudy last weekend.