Injuries force Lilywhites to ring changes for Wicklow clash

KILDARE have been forced to make changes for Sunday’s Leinster SFC clash with Wicklow in Croke Park because of injuries to a number of regular players.

Round Towers’ Padraig Mullarkey is recalled at right corner-back for his first championship start since the 2003 campaign, with Anthony Rainbow switching to the left corner.

Michael Foley - a midfield regular throughout the NFL campaign - reverts to right half-back, with David Lyons (Clane), full-back in last year’s campaign and who impressed in a recent challenge game against Kerry, named at left half-back.

Willie Heffernan (Nurney) made a huge impression when introduced in the second half of last year’s All-Ireland qualifier against Offaly and will partner Killian Brennan at midfield, with U-21 starlet Padraig O’Neill (St Laurence’s) getting his first competitive start at centre-forward.

There are four changes on the Longford team from the side that drew with Monaghan in their last league game for Sunday’s Leinster championship clash with Dublin in Croke Park.

Dominic Glennon, Declan Reilly, Bernard McElvaney and team captain Paul Barden replace Kevin Mulligan, Trevor Glendenning, the injured David Blessington and the suspended Trevor Smullen, respectively.

Dominic Glennon, Paul Dowd, Brian Kavanagh and McElvaney are making their championship debuts.

Impressive U-21 midfielder Barry Cullinane has been drafted into the Galway squad for Sunday’s Connacht championship clash with New York.

Galway boss Peter Ford has extended the travelling squad to 31 and Cullinane could well make his senior debut for the county in New York.

The towering midfielder, outstanding in the U-21 All-Ireland win over Down on Saturday, is viewed by many as a potential replacement for the

retired Kevin Walsh.

Cullinane, at 6’5”, has a similar physique to the former Allstar.

Cullinane dominated the midfield aerial exchanges in Saturday’s All-Ireland U-21 final and has improved immeasurably since making the breakthrough as a minor three years ago.

The versatile Claregalway clubman did not rest on his laurels after Saturday’s All-Ireland victory. By Sunday afternoon he was lining out for Turloughmore in the Galway hurling championship, but was unable to prevent his side going down to Clarinbridge.

Cullinane’s inclusion means that seven of the victorious U-21 squad are now in the senior panel for Sunday, with winning captain Alan Burke unable to travel because of exams.

KILDARE (SFC v Wicklow): E Murphy; P Mullarkey, D Hendy, A Rainbow; M Foley, G Ryan, D Lyons; W, Heffernan, K Brennan; E Callaghan, P O'Neill, R Sweeney; T Fennin, S Mackenzie-Smith, J Doyle.

LONGFORD (SFC v Dublin): D Sheridan; D Brady, C Conefrey, E Ledwith; A O’Connor, D Glennon, D Reilly; P O’Hara, B McElvaney; J Martin, P Barden, P Dowd; B Kavanagh, N Sheridan, P Davis.

DOWN (SHC v London): G Clarke; L Clarke, S Murray, P Hughes; G Clarke, G Savage, S Wilson; A Savage, P Monan; E Clarke, P Bandiff, B McGourty; M Coulter, G Johnson, S Clarke. Subs: R Murray, G Adair, E Trainor, J McCusker, A Bell, D Flynn, P Smith, C Coulter, J Doherty, C Bandiff.

ANTRIM (SHC panel v New York): D Quinn, J Campbell, M Scullion, J Scullion, S Óg McFadden, C Herron, M Herron, P Cunningham, C McGuickian, C Cunning, D Quinn, P Richmond, M Hamilton, K Kelly, G Cunningham, B McFall, B Quinn, J McIntosh, M Kettle, G Bell, J Connolly, C Hamill, K Stewart.

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