McConville to debut for Down, Quigley to start for Fermanagh

Arthur McConville will make his Championship debut for Down when they take on Fermanagh in Sunday's Ulster SFC quarter-final at Brewster Park (throw-in 3.30pm).

Arthur McConville will make his Championship debut for Down when they take on Fermanagh in Sunday's Ulster SFC quarter-final at Brewster Park (throw-in 3.30pm).

The Clonduff clubman will start in a Down attack which is missing the mercurial Benny Coulter who broke his ankle playing for Mayobridge at the end of April.

Darren O'Hagan, making just his third Championship appearance, gets the nod at left corner back. The Mourne men will be captained by fit-again midfielder Ambrose Rogers.

Along with Coulter, Rogers' midfield colleague Dan Gordon (ankle) and defender Niall McParland (hand) have also been ruled out through injury.

Down have not won an Ulster title since they were crowned All-Ireland champions back in 1994 when current manager James McCartan provided the attacking spark.

McCartan readily admits that they need to deliver in the provincial competition, telling the Irish News: "From a personal point of view, I'm in my third year of a three-year term and I've only won one Ulster Championship match.

"You guys can write whatever you want, but certainly we'll be approaching it as very much a 50-50 game, as Ulster Championship games are.

"The educated pundits can dress Down up any way they want, but I think our players know exactly where we sit - and we've a lot to prove.

"Down's Ulster Championship record is there for all to see, and for us to be made annual favourites in certain games in a bit annoying - but it is what it is and we have to get on with it."

Bookmakers have hosts Fermanagh priced at 5/2 to overcome McCartan's charges. The Ernesiders, led by first-time Championship manager Peter Canavan, will line out with Seamus Quigley at full-forward.

Quigley's inclusion up front ends speculation that the Roslea attacker, Fermanagh's top scorer during the league campaign, would be missing from the starting line-up.

He sat out training on Tuesday night and was absent from a recent challenge match due to a chest infection. The Fermanagh County Board have also denied reports that Quigley was due to spend the summer in Boston.

Canavan is without his regular captain Ryan McCluskey, who has been sidelined by a sinus cavity fracture he sustained during an accidental collision in training. Barry Owens, the 2004 and 2006 All-Star full-back, will lead the home side.

DOWN (SFC v Fermanagh): Brendan McVeigh; Daniel McCartan, Brendan McArdle, Darren O’Hagan; Aiden Branagan, Kevin McKernan, Conor Garvey; Ambrose Rogers (capt), Kalum King; Daniel Hughes, Mark Poland, Aidan Carr; Conor Laverty, Arthur McConville, Conor Maginn.

FERMANAGH: Ronan Gallagher; Niall Bogue, Barry Owens (capt), Niall McGovern; Damian Kelly, Brian Cox, Barry Mulrone; Shane Lyons, Eoin Donnelly; Daryl Keenan, Brian Og Maguire, Ryan Jones; Tomas Corrigan, Seamus Quigley, Shane McCabe.

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