McGill upbeat after breaking metacarpal bone

Division 2B

Roscommon v Derry

Sunday, Athleague, 2pm

THWACK – it probably wasn’t the kind of contact Derry defender Eamon McGill was looking for when he attempted to bat away a high ball in their victory over Warwickshire at the weekend.

Unfortunately for him, a stray hurl from a Warwickshire opponent didn’t meet its intended target, and now he’s got a broken hand to contend with.

We might add that it was an entirely accidental challenge, but nevertheless McGill is set for a month or two on the sidelines as he bids to make it back for Derry’s Christy Ring Cup campaign.

Here’s his take on what happens as he recalls taking an early exit from proceedings to avoid the Saturday evening chaos at Altnagelvin.

There was a huge ball into the square, I tried to break the ball but some boy pulled the other way.

I wouldn’t say it was dirty or anything, we were both going for the ball. It was that cold I couldn’t even feel it.

I looked down and there was a lump hanging out of my hand. A doctor came on and told me I’d need to get it x-rayed.

You’d be waiting hours at Altnagelvin on a Saturday evening so he said he’d be better off going now and getting it over with.”

McGill actually broke his wrist in the same hand last year. This time around he’s sustained a Boxer’s Fracture – the break of the fifth metacarpal bones of the hand near the knuckle. It can take a couple of months to heal fully, but he still hopes to be back in time for the Christy Ring tournament.

I should be back for the Christy Ring. They’re saying it’s a Boxer’s Fracture. It’s not the worst break you can get but it’ll probably be between four and eight weeks.

I actually broke that wrist last June before the football championship with the club. I was out for eight or nine months then.”

He continued: “I’m trying to look on the bright side, you can’t let it get you down, and after a week or two I’ll be able to do a bit of running.

It can be hard watching from the sideline, but there’s nothing you can do about it. I’m more nervous than I am watching than I playing.”

The talented dual-player will miss out on what’s set to be a dramatic climax to Division 2B this season. Derry still have two games to play over the coming weeks – this weekend’s clash against Roscommon, and their rescheduled final clash against promotion rivals Kildare.

With Derry, Down and Kildare deadlocked on four points at the minute, they may well need to win both matches to take their place in Division 2B final and hopefully make amends for last year’s league final defeat to Wicklow.

McGill says the return of the Slaughtneil players in the wake of their heroic, if ultimately unsuccessful, performance against Ballyhale in the All-Ireland semi-final has been a major boost to the team.

I think we are a better team than the third division. This year we’ve probably a better panel than we’ve had in a while, and I think we’re better than Division 2B. There’s a better depth to the panel so we can deal better with injuries.

There’s a good spirit, and training’s been brilliant especially since the Slaughtneil boys came back in, it’s been all guns blazing since then.

They took that defeat to Ballyhale on the chin, they were warriors that day and everyone was behind them. They’ve come back and added a lot to training, even in terms of numbers and they have that experience of playing in big games as well.”

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