Rogan – Derry are serious contenders
DERRY boss Ger Rogan believes Sunday’s Ulster semi-final against Down presents a chance for the county to cement their position as the second best team in Ulster hurling.
The two sides meet at Casement Park for the opportunity to challenge Antrim on July 8 in the provincial final, and Rogan is hopeful the Oak Leafs can reach their first decider since 2003.
“It’s a match where we can make a statement by cementing our position,” said the Antrim native. “When you look at the league, Antrim are a division above us and Down were relegated so they are with Armagh one division below. It means we’re probably seen as the second best team in Ulster at the moment.
“But it’s going to be a very tough match. It’s hard to know who will enter as favourites. I suppose they’re the traditional favourites but we are coming off a good league.”
Derry also have the advantage of having played a game already, a quarter-final win over Armagh, but Rogan doesn’t feel that the game will have too much of an impact on Sunday’s match.
“I don’t think that will matter too much,” he said. “It’s nice to have the win though, and it was always going to be tough against Armagh.
“I thought it was more comfortable than the scoreline suggested (4-14 to 1-17), and I felt the boys did extremely well considering we were awarded only four frees over the 74 minutes.”
The full story is in the current issue of Gaelic Life, published on Thursday July 5. Buy your copy now in your local newsagent, or you can purchase the online version – for only 90p – by clicking here