GAA Football

First step for new Queen's and St Mary's managers

CLUB CALL: Crossmaglen's Oisin O'Neill will miss out as he focuses on the Armagh final Picture Mark Marlow
By Padraig Kelly

Senior Football League Division One Group B: Queen’s University v St Mary’s University (Wednesday, Dub Arena, 7pm)

THERE will be managerial debuts in both the Queen’s and St Mary’s camps tonight as the two sides meet at the Dub Arena in the opening round of the Division One Senior League.

The Malone Road men are now under the watchful eye of Shane Mulholland, who previously acted as a selector for former manager Anthony McGrath. St Mary’s have also opted for a familiar face with Gavin McGilly moving from the backroom to the main role following Paddy Tally’s decision to take the Down job.

It will not be the first time that the two managers have crossed swords though with McGilly’s Moy side just edging out Mulholland’s Rostrevor in the Ulster Intermediate Club final last year.

There may be points up for grabs but both sides will be treating this as a chance to blow off some early season cobwebs with plenty of fringe players expected to get minutes for both sides.

Not surprisingly, club championships will play their part and St Mary’s will be without the likes of Oisin O’Neill (Crossmaglen), Niall Toner (Lavey) and Miceal Rooney (Kilcoo) while Conn Kilpatrick and Matthew Og McGleenan will also be unavailable.

Slaughtneil’s Shane McGuigan will be available though and they will have other notable players in the form of Down forward Stephen McConville and Armagh duo Jarly Og Burns and Aaron Boyle.

Mulholland, meanwhile, is likely to dip heavily into last year’s freshers side with Daniel Guinness one of a number of players expected to get a chance after reaching last year’s All-Ireland semi-final.

A few others will be unavailable though, with club commitments ruling out Conor Cox while Conor O’Neill is injured.

Lorcan Oliver and Ben Crealey, who both came off the bench in the side’s Sigerson loss to University of Limerick in January, are also both ruled out but Niall Keenan, James McMahon and Callum O’Neill give them a solid base.

Queen’s reached the semi-finals of the competition last year before losing narrowly to University of Limerick but all they will be looking out of this game is confirmation for Mulholland that he will have lots of options to work with over the coming months.

It will be similar for McGilly who will be using this as a chance to run his eye over the squad with bigger games ahead.

Ulster University also start their league campaign tonight as they travel to take on Dublin City University (7pm).

Fixtures

Today/tonight

Senior Football League Division One Group B

Queen’s University v St Mary’s (7pm)

Dublin City University v Ulster University (7pm)

Senior Football League Division Three Group C

Stranmillis University v University of Ulster, Magee (2pm)

Queen’s University v Ulster University (7pm)

Senior Football League Division Three Group D

Southern Regional College v South West College, Enniskillen (2pm)

South West College, Dungannon v North West Regional College (2pm)

Senior Football League Division Four Group D

Dunboyne College v Monaghan Institute (2pm)

Senior Hurling League Division Two Group A

St Mary’s v Ulster University (2pm)

Senior Hurling League Division Three Group B

University of Ulster, Coleraine v University of Ulster, Magee (7pm)

Queen’s University v Letterkenny IT (7pm)

Intermediate Football League Group B

DCU v Ulster University (5.30pm)

Queen’s University v St Mary’s (7pm)

Fresher Football League Division One Group A

Ulster University v Queen’s University (4.30pm)

Fresher Hurling League Division Two Group B

Queen’s University v Ulster University (7pm)

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