UCC keep faith for Kingdom clash

UCC have named the same team that defeated Clare in the quarter-final for Sunday’s McGrath Cup semi-final against Kerry in Killarney.

The college’s footballing and hurling selectors have agreed to share the four dual players evenly. Niall Horgan and Rory McCarthy will play with the football team, while Stephen Murphy and Ken O’Halloran will travel with the hurlers to Clarecastle for the Waterford Crystal game against Clare.

The Cork students’ team include two current Cork seniors - Fintan Gould at midfield, John Hayes at centre forward - and Waterford senior Liam Ó Lionaín.

Football coach Des Cullinane says playing Kerry was always part of their Sigerson Cup preparation at this time of the year.

“It’s a great match for us to get as we build up to the Sigerson. The victory over Clare last Sunday was hard-earned but it has given the players that extra bit of confidence to beat another county team on Sunday.”

Mick O’Dwyer has made three changes to his Laois side for the O’Byrne Cup semi-final with neighbours Offaly at Portlaoise on Sunday.

Portlaoise goalkeeper Mick Nolan gets a rare start between the sticks, with 2003 Allstar Fergal Byron dropping down to the bench.

With Portlaoise pair Aidan Fennelly and Brian McCormack out of the country for the week, their berths at right corner-back and right half-back respectively have been filled by Paul Begley and Padraig McMahon.

Colm Parkinson continues to reacquaint himself with inter-county football at left half-forward after a year abroad, while the promising Colm Kelly again lines out at full-forward.

Gerard Cavlan is back in the Tyrone starting line-up following an 18-month injury lay-off for Sunday’s McKenna Cup game against Donegal at Ballybofey.

Cavlan is named at midfield and is one of eight changes from last week.

Red Hand boss Mickey Harte also brings back Owen Mulligan, Conor Gormley and Ciaran Gourley.

Tyrone need a draw advance to the semi-final, while Donegal need a win.

With that in mind, Donegal boss Brian McIver has selected only one debutant for Sunday’s clash.

Glenties centre-back Thomas Donoghue is chosen at left half-back and replaces Stephen McHugh.

Only Neil McGee, Brendan Boyle, Stephen McDermott, Christy Toye and Martin Caulfield are retained from last week’s clash against Down.

The rest of the side featured in the opening encounter with St Mary’s.

Naomh Chonail star Paddy Campbell makes his inter-county comeback at corner-back, while former Allstar Kevin Cassidy is also back on the side at wing-back for the first time this season.

Limerick will be without Darren Horan for the visit of Cork to Kilmallock for the McGrath Cup semi-final. He pulled a hamstring in last week’s quarter-final against Waterford IT.

Cork will be without their Nemo Rangers players as the club begin their build-up in earnest to their All-Ireland semi-final against St Galls (Antrim) with a challenge game.

Robert O’Mahony, and Ger Spillane are also carrying injuries from last week’s clash with Tipperary and are likely to be missing.

However, it’s not all bad news for Billy Morgan. Kieran O’Connor, Anthony Lynch, Nicholas Murphy and Philip Clifford are on their way back and there is a possibility of a number of them being pressed into service.

UCC (SF v Kerry): R. White; N. Horgan, M. Shields, K. Connery; R. McCarthy, J. Wycherley, D. Limrick; F. Gould, D. Walsh; R. Long, J. Hayes, P. O’Connor; R. Hussey, L. Ó Lionáin, B. Mulvihill.

LAOIS (SF v Offaly): M Nolan; P McDonald, C Ryan, P Begley; J Higgins, D Conroy, P McMahon; P Clancy, N Garvan; C Parkinson, B Brennan, G Kavanagh; B McDonald, C Kelly, C Conway.

DONEGAL (SF v Tyrone): P. Durcan; P. Campbell, N. McGee, K. Lacey, K. Cassidy, E. McGee, T. Donoghue, N. Gallagher, B. Boyle, C. Toye, C. Bonner, S. McDermott, C. McFadden, A. Sweeney, M. Caulfield.

TYRONE (SF v Donegal): P McConnell; D Carlin, C McGinley, S Sweeney; A Ball, C Gourley, P Quinn; G Cavlan, C Holmes, R Mulgrew; S Cavanagh, T McGuigan; A McCarron, S O’Neill, O Mulligan.

LOUTH (SH v Athlone IT): S. Smith; J. Carter, A. Mynes, S. Darcy; D. Callanan, P. Dunne, R. Byrne; D. McCarthy, S. Callanan; T. Hilliard, D. Dunne, M. Rafferty; S. Fennell, A. Carter, G. Smith.

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