Sports

Rafferty blow for Orchard

Tuesday, 24 June 2014

ARMAGH'S Ulster Championship ambitions have been dealt a further blow after Caolan Rafferty broke his hand in training on Thursday.
The Granemore forward scored the goal against Cavan in the opening round of Ulster and his pace going forward and tenacious tackling in defence have made him an integral part of the Armagh team under Paddy O'Rourke and Paul Grimley.
The news comes as Armagh will take their case to the Disputes Resolution Authority after the appeal to the GAA'S Central Hearing Committee to get the three suspensions overturned failed on Friday night.
Defenders Brendan Donaghy, Andy Mallon and midfielder Kieran Toner were handed one-match bans following the mass brawl at the recent Ulster SFC game against Cavan.
Armagh are expected to pursue every avenue to make their players available ahead of Saturday night's Ulster Championship semi-final against Monaghan in Clones at 7pm.
Regardless of suspensions being overturned or not, Crossmaglen's Aaron Kernan is expected to make his first competitive start of the Orchard County this season and his composure and leadership will be crucial if Armagh are to defeat defending Ulster Champions Monaghan.
And Aaron's brother Tony is likely to replace the injured Rafferty. The industrious Crossmaglen forward is an excellent outlet player and he is comfortable running at defenders and he can thread accurate passes too, which Armagh will need to do if they expand on their counter-attacking game-plan.
While the Senior game is being televised live on Sky Sports, Armagh Minors are also in action and they also take on Monaghan, who defeated favourites Tyrone at the weekend.
Armagh Minors have a strong squad with Crossmaglen's Oisin O'Neill, Silverbridge's Jarlath Og Burns and captain Caolan McConville crucial to Armagh's Ulster Minor Championship ambitions. The games are all-ticket with the Minor game throwing in at 5pm. Both the winners of the Senior and Minor Ulster semi-finals will face Donegal in the Ulster Final.

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