Tuesday, 25 February 2014
CROSSMAGLEN RANGERS hopes of regaining the Ulster Club Championship crown has been dealt with a blow as full-back Paul Kernan faces a race against time if to be fit for their campaign.
Paul Kernan is currently in Australia and hurt his shoulder while surfing Down Under, which could rule him out for 12 months.
Paul missed last season's campaign where his Dad Joe managed Rangers to another County title.
However, it was expected his return along with that of injured players Aaron Kernan, James Morgan and Paul McKeown would strengthen the hand of manager's Oisin McConville and John McEntee.
Kernan and McConville admitted his absence was a blow to their title bid but feels the side will have to learn to cope.
“It is a really pity because Paul is an excellent talent and we hoped he would return from Australia fit, fresh and raring to go," said McConville.
“But it is something we have to get on with and we have to see how long he will be out of action."
Crossmaglen begin the defence of their county title against Sarfields on Sunday, August 17, at 7.45pm, and while they are still expected to possess too much quality to be prevented from retaining the county title, Ulster and indeed the All-Ireland is a different prospect.
They last won Ulster in 2012 and Paul Kernan was a key part of the jigsaw in Crossmaglen's plans to win it this year.
It would be foolish to write Crossmaglen off, but their task has become tougher than they would have hoped.
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