Antrim call on McAuley and Delargy

Barney McAuley of Loughgiel and Cushendall’s Brian Delargy will make their league debuts for Antrim in Sunday’s NHL Division 1B opener against Galway at Casement Park (throw-in 2.30pm).

Barney McAuley of Loughgiel and Cushendall’s Brian Delargy will make their league debuts for Antrim in Sunday’s NHL Division 1B opener against Galway at Casement Park (throw-in 2.30pm).

With both Liam Richmond and Chris Kelly currently suffering from back injuries and Liam Watson unavailable due to soccer commitments, new Saffrons boss Jim McKernan has been forced to experiment. Last year’s captain Jim Connolly and Dunloy’s Gregory O’Kane have opted out of the panel.

McAuley will start at right corner back, while Delargy takes on the centre forward role. Both players lined out in Antrim’s 1-06 to 2-26 Walsh Cup humbling by Offaly on January 29.

With Brian McFall benched having just come back from holiday, much of Saffrons’ forward focus will fall on the shoulders of Glenariff’s John McIntosh, who hit 1-23 in last year’s All-Ireland championship.

Galway had an easy time of it the last time the sides crossed paths - the Tribesmen won last July’s All-Ireland SHC qualifier by 3-29 to 0-10 at Pearse Stadium.

ANTRIM (NHL v Galway): DD Quinn; B McAuley, G Bell, G Cunningham; J Campbell, K McKeegan (capt), M McCambridge; C Cunning, C Herron; M Herron, B Delargy, M Scullion; S Og McFadden, P Richmond, J McIntosh.

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