Roscommon unchanged for Kerry game as White and Grehan passed fit

WITH John Whyte and Francie Grehan passing fitness tests Roscommon have announced an unchanged side to meet Kerry in the Bank of Ireland, All-Ireland SFC quarter final at Croke Park on Monday next.

Left corner back Whyte damaged a hamstring in last weekend’s stirring two points extra time victory over Kildare, while dynamic centre back Grehan went into that game troubled by a long term knee injury.

However, manager Tommy Carr gave both the green light to start after training last night and he also announced he was keeping faith with Paul Noone at left half back.

Noone was one of the three players Carr disciplined before the Kildare game and named Eamonn Towey instead as his left half back. But before the start, Carr had a change of heart, and re-instated Noone.

John Devine has earned a recall in goals for Tyrone’s quarter-final derby against Fermanagh, with star forward Ger Cavlan back in the attack after recovering from injury.

Tyrone manager Mickey Harte confirmed the two changes last night from the side that steam-rolled over Down in the Ulster Final replay, while Cormac McAnallen retains the position of full-back.

It was also confirmed yesterday that BBC2 will televise Sunday’s double bill, which also sees All-Ireland champions Armagh take on Leinster title winners Laois, live.

Harte’s decision to bring back in Devine follows the selection of Pascal McConnell in nets for the Ulster Final replay against Down after Devine was beaten for four goals during the drawn title decider.

The position has been rotated throughout the season while the return of Cavlan to bolster Tyrone’s free scoring attack was fully expected.

Cavlan was forced to sit out the replay rout of Down due to a groin strain. The player to lose out is Seamus Mulgrew, who drops back to the bench.

Owen Mulligan was listed at left full-forward, as per usual, despite rumours doing the rounds yesterday alleging the player was struggling with injury.

For the first of this weekend’s quarter-final double bills, Tyrone’s opponents have left one position vacant with no decision expected until close to match time.

Fermanagh manager Dominic Corrigan has given at least five players another 48 hours to stake their claims for the right half-forward berth.

According to team spokesman Tommy Curry they have no injury problems but Corrigan is as yet undecided over one of the six to start in the attack.

He has instead elected to afford to keep the contest open to Kieran O’Reilly, Ronan McCabe, James Sherry, Colm Bradley and Raymie Johnson.

Apart from this contest Corrigan has kept the same team that qualified for the last eight with a win over Mayo.

His options for Sunday are further boosted by the return of Justin Gilheaney to full fitness. Their centre half-back for much of the season, Gilheaney has missed the Championship run due to hamstring and knee injuries.

Kieran Donnelly is again named at right full-forward, but depending on how the vacancy left is filled, Donnelly may revert to wing half-forward for the game.

If McCabe or Bradley, both natural corner forwards, get the nod it is likely that Donnelly would then go to right half-forward to link up with captain Raymie Gallagher and Tom Brewster.

Donegal manager Brian McEniff heaved a huge sigh of relief last night when his outstanding left corner forward Brendan Devenney was given the all-clear to start against Galway.

The brilliant Devenney damaged his knee in the qualifying win over Down and was a real cause for concern all week.

Kerry manager Paidi O Se has delayed naming his team to take on Roscommon until this evening. A doubt still exists over whether midfield ace Darragh Ó Sé will be fit to start.

TYRONE (SF v Fermanagh): J Devine, D Carlin, C McAnallen, R McMenamin, C Gormley, C Gourley, P Jordan, S Cavanagh, K Hughes, B Dooher, B McGuigan, G Cavlan, E McGinley, P Canavan, O Mulligan.

ROSCOMMON (SF v Kerry); S. Curran; R. Cox, D. Casey, J. Whyte; M. Beirne, F. Grehan, P. Noone; S. O’Neill, S. Lohan; G. Cox, G. Lohan, D. Connellan; J. Dunning, K. Mannion, F. Doran.

FERMANAGH (SF v Tyrone): Ronan Gallagher; R McCloskey, B Owens, M Lilly; N Cox, C Gallagher, S McDermott; P Brewster, M McGrath; AN Other, Raymie Gallagher (capt.), T Brewster; K Donnelly, S Maguire, R Keenan.

DONEGAL (SF v Galway): T. Blake; N. McCready, R. Sweeney, M. Crossan; S. Carr, B. Monaghan, K. Cassidy; J. Gildea, S. McDermott; C. Toye, M. Hegarty, B. McGonagle; B. Roper, A. Sweeney, B. Devenney.

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