Emmet’s begin title defence

By Michael McMullan

DERRY and Ulster senior hurling champions Sleacht Néill begin the defence of their titles when the club championship swings into action on Friday night.

Michael McShane’s side, bidding to keep their hands on the Fr Collins Cup for a tenth season in succession, travel to Na Magha (7.30pm).

They will have to plan without Cormac O’Doherty who is recovering from an operation on the shoulder he injured in last season’s county final defeat to Kevin Lynch’s.

Meehaul McGrath also missed much of the action with a broken bone in his arm sustained on county duty.

Derry football trio Chrissy McKaigue, Shane McGuigan and Brendan Rogers were back in club action in a challenge game with Portglenone on Tuesday night.

The competition will again be played in two groups of four, with the group winners advancing to the semi-finals, with the other teams entering the Qualifying rounds.

Ulster Intermediate champions Banagher won’t open their season until next week when they host Ballinascreen.

Elsewhere, Donegal champions St Eunan’s lost their grip on their title in a 2-16 to 0-14 semi-final defeat to Burt on Saturday.

Goals from Kieran Brady and Christopher McDermott helped book a final spot with title favourites Setanta who have won three of the last five titles.


Friday (7.30pm): Na Magha v Sleacht Néill, Swatragh v Lavey, Kevin Lynch’s v Coleraine

Wednesday (7.30pm): Banagher v Ballinascreen

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