McKENNA CUP: Barton to shuffle pack for Queen’s visit

Derry manager Damien Barton.''(Photo Lorcan Doherty / Presseye.com)

Derry manager Damien Barton.''(Photo Lorcan Doherty / Presseye.com)

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Derry boss Damian Barton is expected to make whosale changes to his starting line-up for tomorrow night’s final McKenna Cup, Section A clash with Queen’s University at Owenbeg (throw-in 8pm).

Despite defeat to Tyrone on Sunday, the Oak Leafers remain in the hunt for a semi-final spot after hitting a combined tally of 45 points during the opening two games whilst conceding 37, a healthy scoring difference of nine.

We’re still very much in the competition from what I believe but we’ve got to give people a chance. That for us is the key.

Damian Barton

Another high scoring win against the students would almost certainly see them in the last four but either way, Oak Leaf boss Damian Barton is happy with what he has taken from the competition.

“We have to play football. That’s what this competition is about,” explained the Derry manager, “We’re still very much in the competition from what I believe but we’ve got to give people a chance. That for us is the key.

“We have got enough from the McKenna Cup. For the Queen’s game we will make quite a few changes because that is what it is all about at this stage.”

Players like Steelstown’s half back Neil Forester and Claudy brothers Shane and Eoin McGahon should get a chance to impress alongside the likes of Eoghan Rua forward Gavin McWilliams and Swatragh’s Michael O’Kane.

The Derry boss said he had been encouraged by what he had seen in the games so far.

“We’re encouraged but I’d rather the goals were scored from play. We’re warming up and we’ll be ready for the next couple of contests when we meet. I think you can see that.”