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Gowing and McCarter set to renew kicking duel

City of Derry and Armagh go in search of their first AIB Junior Cup title in the curtain raiser at Dubarry Park this afternoon (1.0).

The all-Ulster affair is set to be a tight one; the sides have taken points off each other in their two previous meetings this season.

Having seen off holders Tullamore in the semi-finals, Armagh look in good shape with out-half Adam Gowing in form and flying winger Matty Irwin crossing for 20 tries so far. They'll be without second-row Jamie Cornett, who picked up a knock in training; Phil Hill will deputise.

Gowing was the star when Derry made the short trip to the Orchard County, but it was Derry's No 10, Richard McCarter, who stole the show in the return, scoring 16 unanswered points in the second half to seal the win.

Also lining out is Mark O'Connor on the left wing after he kicked Ulster to glory against Munster in the Irish Colleges Interpro final. Armagh are 10 points clear on top of the Kukri Ulster Qualifying League, but Derry have two games in hand on their provincial rivals.

With little to choose between the two teams, those arriving in the midlands early are in for a close, exciting encounter.

Verdict: Armagh.

CITY OF DERRY -- P Henderson; J Lewis, D Funston, J Bennett, M O'Connor; R McCarter, A Semple; D Witherow, S McAuley, C Shields; D Houston, B McKillop (capt); K Gemmell, S Corr, M Walker.

ARMAGH -- J Stevenson; J Allen, L Manu, P Elliott, M Irwin; A Gowing, M Wright; B Patterson, J Johnston, M Hopps; P Hill, J Morton (capt); J Clarke, A Hughes, T Clarke.

REF -- D Phillips (IRFU).

Irish Independent