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Glen looking to start new season with victory over Banagher

Banagher come into the game with minimal preparation

Watty Graham's Emmett Bradley.  Pic by Mary K Burke

Emmett Bradley is one of Glen's key players (Pic: Mary K Burke)

DERRY SFC ROUND 1

Glen v Banagher
Saturday (4.00) – Glen
Ref: Dan Mullan

So near, yet so far. Glen's whirlwind championship waned at the final step last year, but Jude Donnelly retained Paddy Murray and their management for another tilt at a first title.

Only John McCamley retired after last season, while U21 players Cahair Glass and Seamus McKenna have been the latest young guns to step into the squad.

The Watties won't be able to call on Stevie O'Hara, who is recovering from the cruciate injury sustained in last year's county final and Tiarnan Flanagan is working in Norway.

Glen played Portglenone and Louth side St Martin's as part of their preparation. Donnelly had a worrying first night after the return to training with a handful of niggly injuries in as many minutes, as the system adjusted to life on the pitch.

Conor McDevitt has hamstring trouble but is expected to shake it off. Conor Gallagher missed last season and had a slight setback on his return from a knee injury.

They have something in common with this weekend's opponents Banagher, who also fell marginally to Magherafelt after a dramatic championship with their champagne football.

Mark Quigley, who returns with Charlie O'Kane, is hoping to play the same open brand of football.

It looks like they will have to prepare without Mark Lynch. Apart from that, Quigley relayed that everyone else is in contention.

Ryan McGillion returns after having a nightmare time with cruciate trouble, with Oisin McCloskey also back in the fold after missing last season.

Banagher are going into the game without a challenge game after following their diligent Covid-19 guidance to the 'letter of the law'.

Last year Banagher went into the championship without a win, but this time they are totally untested. They crave knockout football and its hard to see them turning Glen over.

VERDICT: Glen

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