Double victory puts Derry into McKenna semis

DERRY scored two resounding wins at Celtic Park in the space of four days to stake a place in the semi final of the Dr. McKenna Cup on Saturday against neighbours Antrim who have been the surprise team so far topping a tough section which included Down and Armagh.

Derry will play neighbours Antrim at a venue to be confirmed on Saturday evening in the semi final of the Dr. McKenna cup and it will be a dress rehearsal for their meeting in the league in April.

Antrim did well to come out of their group but that said their draw against Down and win away to Armagh were against under strength teams - a similar scenario to Derry’s run to the last four.

Derry manager John Brennan is delighted to get the extra game with the opening league match against Tyrone just a week later.

After their poor showing last season new manager Brennan seems to have put a bit more bite into the team and with a total of 4-19 in three games the forward line has been very impressive with Paddy Bradley and Conleth Gilligan scoring 3-26 of that total between them.

Antrim have seven of the St. Gall’s club team in their present line up and they have been in good form but still it is Paddy Cunningham their free taker who has been most on target.

It has the makings of a close game but the scoring thrust of Bradley and Gilligan could make the difference. Paddy Bradley’s father Liam is the Antrim manager and James Conway’s brother Niall is the Antrim coach which makes the game all the more interesting.