DERRY GAA: Lynch in line to start as McKaigue named captain

Emmet Bradley takes on Cavan's Gearoid McKiernan and Barry Doyle during the recent McKenna Cup semi-final in Armagh.

Emmet Bradley takes on Cavan's Gearoid McKiernan and Barry Doyle during the recent McKenna Cup semi-final in Armagh.

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Mark Lynch is in line for his first start of the league season as Derry travel to Breffni Park seeking to make it two wins from two in Division Two.

Lynch was a half-time substitute in last week’s opening day victory over Fermanagh, scoring one goal and setting up Cailean O’Boyle for another in an impressive cameo at full forward.

That appearance should be enough to see the Banagher man in from the start this weekend although it remains to be seen if Barton will use him as a target man or drop him back toward a midfield slot as Emmet McGuckin should also make a welcome return to the Derry squad.

It has also been confirmed that Slaughtneil’s Chrissy McKaigue will take the captain’s armband for 2016.

The trip to Breffni Park will be Derry’s second meeting with Terry Hyland’s side in less than a month after the McKenna Cup semi-final victory in the Athletic Grounds three weeks ago.

That day, Ryan Bell’s first half penalty proved the catalyst (it came during a six minute period when Derry scored 1-4 without reply) for an ultimately comfortable 1-17 to 1-10 victory but assistant manager Brian McGuckin is expecting a tougher test this weekend.

“Definitely,” explained McGuckin: “We played Cavan there a few weeks ago and we would have been very pleased with our performance.

“This is going to be a different challenge altogether. They’ll bring their own style and obviously they’ll cause us plenty of problems but that’s up to us to work hard.

“Our aim was to pick up four points by the break and we’re half way there so we go there full of confidence.”

Cavan endured a losing start last week but made Tyrone fight all the way before suffering a 0-10 to 0-08 defeat. Played in difficult conditions, Cavan continued with a defensive approach against Mickey Harte’s team and will be expected to use similar tactics again this weekend. In the McKenna Cup, it was Derry’s ability to mix the short and long game which proved Cavan’s ultimate undoing and Damian Barton will be hoping for a similar outcome on Saturday evening.