Ó’Sé continues experiment

NEITHER Dessie Dolan or Martin Flanagan are on the Westmeath side for Sunday’s O’Byrne Cup final against Meath.

In keeping with the campaign thus far, Páidi Ó Sé has gone with an experimental line-up with Joe Fallon also missing. Rory O'Connell and David O'Shaughnessy, immense in Westmeath's surge to the final, once again are the formidable midfield pairing while Paul Martin comes in at full forward for Shane Colleary.

Joe Fallon replaced Colleary in the semi-final, but once more, the talented forward must be content with a place on the bench.

Ó Sé has used his full quota of substitutions in every game so far, and with the wealth of talent on the bench, the trend should continue in Mullingar on Sunday as the Kerryman aims to start his reign with some silverware.

Fallon, Dolan and Flanagan all came on and scored against Carlow. Meath are not expected to name their team until tonight.

With a crowd of 10,000 expected in Cusack Park for the final, the Leinster Council have dismissed suggestions that the final should be moved. Ó Sé's team have played at home in every round of the O'Byrne Cup.

"It's purely the luck of the draw," said Leinster Council secretary Micheal Delaney. "Venues are decided by the draw. For instance, if Louth had beaten Westmeath in the first round, they would have been at home in the next game and so on. If Carlow had won last Sunday, they would have been at home for the final."

Shane Ryan's decision to concentrate on football means Dublin hurling manager Humphrey Kelleher has to leave a vacancy at full-forward as his side begin their defence of the Walsh Cup against Wexford in Piercestown this Sunday. Kelleher has a further selection headache with Ballyboden's David Curtin's finger injury.

Former Dublin goalkeeper John O'Leary has been made the manager of the Dublin Ladies senior team.

O'Leary, who managed the Wicklow footballers last season, was formally ratified by club delegates at a meeting of the Dublin Ladies County Board on Tuesday night.

O'Leary has previously worked with Tommy Carr during his ex-teammate's reign as manager of the Dublin team.

He will take charge of his first match when Dublin, who reached the All-Ireland final last Autumn losing to a last-minute strike from Mayo's Diane O'Hora, start their national league campaign away to Meath on February 1.

Dublin County Board chairman, John Bailey expressed delight at O'Leary's appointment. "John brings a wealth of experience throughout a long and illustrious career representing Dublin.

He said O'Leary would "be good for the game" and would "certainly raise the profile of Ladies Football among the Dublin supporters."

Wexford football captain Mattie Forde will not have any involvement with the Model County's hurling side this year.

Forde's importance to the footballers has been monumental in recent seasons and the new and unaccustomed role of team leader will bring with it added pressures for the Kilanerin clubman who has been the panel's most influential forward for some time now.

Over the New Year it was rumoured that Forde would be drafted into John Conran's squad for the opening tie in the Walsh Cup against Dublin.

But with such an historic season to come with the footballers and the demands involved with juggling both sports, the player felt such a situation would be simply untenable.

"I was thinking about [playing hurling as well] alright but I've decided not to," Forde said yesterday.

"It's a big year for the county footballers and I'm captain this year too, so it would have been asking too much of myself really to play the two.

"I had a chat with John Conran a few weeks ago about it and we both agreed that in this day and age it's almost impossible to combine the two."

Wexford face 2002 All-Ireland champions Armagh in their opening NFL match at Wexford Park on February 1. Leinster champions Laois and Connacht kingpins Galway are also in section 1B with Meath, Limerick Sligo and Cavan.

Limerick have a number of injury concerns ahead of their McGrath Cup final against Clare at Cusack Park, Ennis on Sunday, (2pm) and have delayed naming their side until tonight.

Conor Fitzgerald, Brian Begley, John Galvin, Stephen Lavin and Michael Reidy are all unavailable for the meeting with the Banner men.

DUBLIN (SH v Wexford) B McLoughlin; K Elliot, S Perkins, D Spain; D O'Reilly, S Hiney, K Ryan; R Fallon, C Keaney; M Carton, L Ryan, D Sweeney; S Martin, AN Other, K Flynn

WEXFORD (SH v Dublin) D Fitzhenry; C Kehoe, D O'Connor, M Travers; K Rossiter, D Ruth, M O'Leary; T Mahon, R McCarthy; P Carley, A O'Leary, M Jacob; C McGrath, R Codd, R Jacob. Subs: J Morrissey, A O'Connell, P. Donoghue, L Murphy, P Codd, B Goff, B O'Leary.

WESTMEATH(SF v Meath): A Lennon, D Davitt, D Gavin, F Murray, D Heavin, Kilmartin, D O'Donoghue, R O'Connell, D Shaughnessy, Mangan, K Ennis, F Dardis, Glennon, P Martin, F Wilson

More in this section

CourtsGaaPlace: WestmeathPlace: MullingarPlace: Cusack ParkPlace: PiercestownPlace: MeathPlace: Wexford ParkPlace: EnnisPerson: O’SéPerson: Dessie DolanPerson: Martin FlanaganPerson: Páidí Ó SéPerson: Joe FallonPerson: Rory O'ConnellPerson: David O'ShaughnessyPerson: Paul MartinPerson: Shane CollearyPerson: CollearyPerson: Ó SéPerson: KerrymanPerson: FallonPerson: DolanPerson: FlanaganPerson: Micheal DelaneyPerson: Shane RyanPerson: Humphrey KelleherPerson: KelleherPerson: David CurtinPerson: John O'LearyPerson: O'LearyPerson: Tommy CarrPerson: Diane O'HoraPerson: John BaileyPerson: JohnPerson: Mattie FordePerson: FordePerson: John ConranPerson: Conor FitzgeraldPerson: Brian BegleyPerson: John GalvinPerson: Stephen LavinPerson: Michael ReidyPerson: DUBLINPerson: McLoughlinPerson: K ElliotPerson: S PerkinsPerson: D O'ReillyPerson: S HineyPerson: K RyanPerson: R FallonPerson: C KeaneyPerson: M CartonPerson: L RyanPerson: D SweeneyPerson: S MartinPerson: K FlynnPerson: C KehoePerson: D O'ConnorPerson: M TraversPerson: K REvent: O’Byrne Cup finalEvent: O'Byrne CupEvent: Walsh CupEvent: All-Ireland finalEvent: 2002 All-IrelandEvent: McGrath Cup finalOrganisation: MeathOrganisation: CarlowOrganisation: Leinster CouncilOrganisation: LouthOrganisation: WestmeathOrganisation: DublinOrganisation: WexfordOrganisation: BallybodenOrganisation: Dublin Ladies Senior TeamOrganisation: WicklowOrganisation: Dublin Ladies County BoardOrganisation: Dublin County BoardOrganisation: KilanerinOrganisation: ArmaghOrganisation: LeinsterOrganisation: LaoisOrganisation: ConnachtOrganisation: GalwayOrganisation: Limerick SligoOrganisation: CavanOrganisation: LimerickOrganisation: ClareOrganisation: SpainOrganisation: SHOrganisation: Fitzhenry
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