Friday 15 December 2017

Derry worried over fixture

Cliona Foley

Cliona Foley

DERRY fear the fixing of their Ulster SFC semi-final against Armagh for Clones next Saturday is going to substantially affect the crowd.

"Our ticket sales for the Gerry Arthur Stand are very, very poor," Derry secretary Liam Peoples said yesterday.

Derry made a strong economic argument to Ulster Council when requesting that the game be fixed for either Omagh or Casement Park.

The province still decided, a week ago, to fix both of their semi-finals in Clones and Derry did not subsequently lodge any complaint but they are clearly not happy with the location.

"We have nothing against Clones as a venue, but we felt that the long travelling distance involved for our supporters, on top of the economic climate, would be a big factor in attracting our supporters to this game," Peoples said.

Key Derry defender Gerard O'Kane is expected to make it despite picking up a bad dead leg in a club game and the Oak Leaf side are also expected to have Barry McGoldrick back.

Ulster are expected to move back their provincial hurling final, which will feature Armagh for the first time since 1946, to allow for Antrim's possible involvement in the All-Ireland SHC qualifiers.

The Ulster SHC final was due to take place on June 26 but if Antrim beat Westmeath next Saturday they would be playing Carlow in the second round of the qualifiers that weekend so the Ulster final looks likely to be delayed by a week.

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