Queen’s University have withdrawn from the 2013 Dr McKenna Cup.

The Belfast side, who were due to face Armagh in the first round, issued a statement today expressing their unhappiness that a number of their college players have been named on county panels for the competition, which starts on 6 January.

The statement read: “The club were hoping for some resolution to the ongoing issue in relation to the availability of college players to their university, but this hasn't happened.

“Participation at this stage would involve the loss of a significant number of first team players to counties and added to injury and exam pressures, we don't think anyone could expect a university team to play at this level without so many players.

“Furthermore, the prospect of heavy losses would do little for morale and preparation ahead of the Sigerson Cup competition.

"We are very disappointed that the competition regulations have not been adhered to."

Queen’s first participated in the Ulster competition in 2003 and were beaten in the 2009 final by Donegal.