Christy Ring Cup Final: Antrim face Carlow for fourth time this season

Carlow's Paul Doyle and Antrim's Niall McKenna
Antrim and Carlow have already produced three close contests this season

Antrim face Carlow for the fourth time this season when the sides meet in Saturday's Christy Ring Cup final.

The counties drew in the Hurling League before Antrim edged victory in the Division Two A final in April followed by their opening Christy Ring victory.

Another tight game seems assured with both sides aiming to qualify for a Liam McCarthy Cup preliminary-round tussle with Laois in two weeks.

Earlier at Croke Park, Armagh face Derry in the Nicky Rackard Cup final.

Saturday's opening game at Croke Park is the fourth-tier Lory Meagher Cup final between Warwickshire and Leitrim.

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Antrim face fourth meeting in four months against Carlow in Christy Ring final

But most of the focus will be the Christy Ring Cup decider at headquarters.

Antrim captain Simon McCrory says the sides know all about each other after so many battles in recent years.

"It's the fourth time we'll have met this season. Every time there's been a puck of a ball in it and it will be no different on Saturday," adds the Saffrons skipper.

On the last occasion the sides meet in late April, Neil McManus hit 1-13 as the Saffrons earned a dramatic 3-20 to 2-22 win after extra-time.

Antrim are aiming for a second Christy Ring Cup title to add to their 2006 triumph over the same opposition.

Last year, Antrim were shocked in the final replay by Meath after a rematch had to be ordered when the Royal County were found to have been incorrectly awarded a point in the initial decider.

Antrim (v Carlow): C O'Connell; S McCrory, J Dillon, S Rooney; C Johnson, P Burke, A Graffin; C McKinley, P Shiels; N McAuley, C McCann, E Campbell; C Johnston, N McManus, C Clarke.

WEEKEND HURLING FIXTURES

Saturday

Lory Meagher Cup Final

Warwickshire v Leitrim, Croke Park, 13:00 BST

Nicky Rackard Cup Final

Armagh v Derry, Croke Park, 15:00

Christy Ring Cup

Carlow v Antrim, Croke Park, 17:00

Leinster SHC semi-final

Wexford v Kilkenny, Wexford Park, 19:00

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