McCrudden an injury blow as Institute travel to Ballyclare

Michael McCrudden pictured on the ball for Institute during their match against Dundela on Saturday. INLS0913-121KM

Michael McCrudden pictured on the ball for Institute during their match against Dundela on Saturday. INLS0913-121KM

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MICHAEL McCrudden could miss out on a chance to feature in the Junior N. Ireland squad for next month’s International Quadrangular Tournament in Limerick due to injury.

The in-form Top of the Hill man was expected to get a call-up to Harry McConkey’s side for the competition which involves junior international sides from Scotland, N. Ireland, Republic of Ireland and Isle of Man.

However, McCrudden, who sustained a knee injury during Institute’s 6-2 demolition of Coagh United, could be struggling to be fit for selection.

The winger netted twice from the penalty spot in last week’s win at the Riverside and will definitely miss out tomorrow’s trip to Dixon Park where his teammates take on league newcomers, Ballyclare Comrades. (Kick-off 3 p.m.)

While McCrudden’s absence will significantly dent the club’s attacking options, manager, Paul Kee is confident his side will possess enough fire-power to secure victory.

And the fact that the Waterside men have netted eight goals in their last two league outings would certainly reinforce that argument.

“It’s highly unlikely that he (McCrudden) will be involved because he could hardly walk on it on Monday and Tuesday,” confirmed Kee.

“And he won’t want to be out for too long because there was a N. Ireland Junior international squad getting picked and his name was being mentioned by Harry McConkey.

“So that will be a bit of blow for him because he’ll want to play in that tournament next month in Limerick.

“He’s a key player for us and you don’t want to be losing your key offensive players.”

Kee was present in the stands last Tuesday as Carrick Rangers defeated Ballyclare 4-2 at Taylors Avenue.

And he expects a tough challenge against a spirited and energetic home side.

“Away games are tough in this league. They played Carrick on Tuesday night and lost so they’ll want to bounce back. If we play the way we’re capable of playing then there’s no reason why we can’t get the result.”