GER Rogan is expected to make only one change to his starting 15 as Derry attempt to qualify for the Ulster Senior Hurling Championship final at the second time of asking against Down in the Athletic Grounds, Armagh on Sunday. (Throw-in: 3.30 p.m.)
The Oak Leafers went into last week’s first game as underdogs but dominated for large periods of the game, scoring 11 consecutive second half points to put themselves in a position from which they probably should have won. However it eventually took a Tiarnan McCloskey free, two minutes into injury time to secure a second game after the 2013 Christy Cup winners staged a late rally to lead by one.
Derry had to play the second half last week without the services of the main free taker Paddy Henry who suffered a suspected broken arm in a challenge with Down’s Gareth Johnson that infuriated the Derry management team. Henry has been named in Rogan’s official line-up for this weekend but his place is expected to be taken by Chrissy Convery who replaced him in last week’s drawn game.
Trailing by seven at the interval last week, Derry showed the sort of spirit Rogan will be hoping to see again on Sunday as they seek revenge for defeat in the Christy Ring Cup earlier in the season.
The loss of key men has not helped Derry’s cause, no has the continued absence of captain Ruairi Convery but if Derry can replicate their second half display they have every chance of securing a place in the final.