Likewise, Peter Forde has kept faith with the Galway team which beat Mayo in last Sunday’s semi-final, naming the same starting 15 to face Kerry.
Louth manager Eamon McEneaney has taken the same route by making no change in his team from that which defeated Limerick in the semi-final, for Sunday’s Division Two NFL final against Donegal in Breffni Park.
“It was great to get promotion, and it means no matter what happens for the rest of the reason, we’ve something in the bank for next year,” he said.
John Hayes has been declared fit to play with Cork in Sunday’s All-Ireland U21 football championship semi-final against Laois which is the curtain-raiser for the NFL final at the Gaelic Grounds, Limerick.
The Carbery Rangers man broke a bone in his wrist in the Munster semi-final win over Tipperary and missed the decider against Waterford. Hayes has been named at left corner forward on a team which shows just one change from the side that won the provincial title convincingly last week.
Roy Leahy is out as he suffered a broken hand playing in the county SFC with his club last weekend.
Mayo hurling manager Frank Browne is furious over the GAC’s decision to fix the NHL Division 2 and All-Ireland U21 football semi-finals for Sunday at different venues.
The fixture clash deprives Browne of the services of dual star Keith Higgins, who will line out for the U21s against Tyrone at Kingspan Breffni Park instead. As captain of the U21 team, Higgins feels compelled to be in Cavan and will thus miss Mayo’s NHL Division 2 semi-final against Kerry in Ennis on the same day.
Mayo have made huge strides since winning NHL Division 3 last year, but the unavailability of Higgins, whom Browne calls the “jewel in the crown” of Mayo hurling, hurts their chances of reaching the Division 2 final.
An angry Browne said: “We’re very disappointed that Keith has not been given an opportunity to play in both games this weekend. We felt the hurling match could have been fixed for 2.30 on Saturday, allowing him to play.
“We asked our county board to make representations on our behalf to the GAC, but the GAC obviously didn’t listen.”
Donegal’s hopes of landing the NFL Division 2 title on Sunday have been hit by reports that Kevin Cassidy and Eamon McGee have been dropped from the panel.
While the county board has refused to confirm who the axed players are, it’s understood that Cassidy and McGee have been dropped for disciplinary reasons. Former All-Star Cassidy was outstanding in last weekend’s semi-final win over Westmeath and both he and McGee will be major losses to Donegal as they prepare for Sunday’s league decider against Louth.
Donegal has been dogged by indiscipline in recent years. Last week, experienced defender Shane Carr quit the panel because he was frustrated at a player who had breached discipline in the camp being selected ahead of him for a recent league match.
Manager Brian McIver’s plans for Sunday’s final have been further disrupted by an injury to Karl Lacey.
Tyrone captain Mickey Murphy is back in the side for Sunday’s All-Ireland U21 Football Championship semi-final against Mayo.
Murphy missed last weekend’s Ulster final win over Derry due to a hip injury, but returns at midfield for the Breffni Park clash. Marc Cunningham is the player to lose out.
The Ulster champions have one other change. Damien McDermott, whose double booking last Saturday was his second such indiscretion of the series, is suspended. His place at corner forward goes to Ronan McCrory.
: D. Murphy; A. O’Mahony, M. Ó Sé, T. O’Sullivan; T. Ó Sé, S. Moynihan, M. Lyons; D. Ó Sé, K. Donaghy; P. Galvin, E. Fitzmaurice, B. Sheehan; C. Cooper, D. O’Sullivan, R. O’Connor.
: K. Cremin, E. Brosnan, MF Russell, P. Kelly, R. O’Sullivan, P. O’Connor, P. Reidy, A. O’Connell, K. Young, A. MacGearailt, B. Hickey, R. Hussey, S. Foley, K. O’Leary.
: A. Keane; D. Meehan, K. Fitzgerald, D. Burke; D. Blake, M. Comer; P. Clancy, N. Coleman; M. Clancy, D. Savage, M. Donnellan; M. Meehan, P. Joyce, S. Armstrong.
: S Reynolds; D Brennan, C Goss, J Carr; J O’Brien, P McGinnity, J Neary; M Farrelly, P Keenan; C Grimes, M Brennan, M Stanfield; JP Rooney, A Hoey, D Clarke.
: K. O’Halloran (Bishopstown); R. Carey (Clyda Rovers), C. Murphy (St. Michaels), S. O’Donoghue (Ballincollig); D. Limrick (Castlehaven), M. Shields (St. Finbarrs), E. Cadogan (Douglas); A. O’Connor (St. Colms), P. Kelly (Ballincollig); F. Gould (Macroom), B. Cotter (Ballincollig), P. Kerrigan (Nemo Rangers); D. Goulding (Eire Og),. P. O’Flynn (Ballyclough), J. Hayes (Carbery Rangers).
: D. Moynihan (Aghabullogue), G. O’Shea (Nemo Rangers), N. Horgan (St. Nicholas), C. O’Neill (Shamrocks), A. O’Sullivan (Castletownbere), F. Lynch (Valley Rovers), C. Keane (Newcestown), C. Callanan (Clonakilty), J. Murphy (Glanmire).
: K. O’Malley; T. Howley, G. Cafferkey, K. Higgins; C. Barrett, T. Cunniffe, C. Boyle; S. O’Shea, B. Moran; A. Campbell, J. Dillon, A. Kilcoyne; M. Ronaldson, M. Hannick, M. Conroy.
: J Curran; P J Quinn, S McNulty, D Burke; B Boggs, J. McMahon, J. Gilmore; M Murphy, S O’Hagan; R Mulgrew, M McCreesh, F Magill; C Tierney, C. Cavanagh, R McCrory.
: T. Duffy; B. Delaney, P. Hunt, S. Morley; D. Walsh, P. Barrett, G. White; S. Coyne, S. Broderick; K. Healy, D. McDonnell, P. Higgins; S. Hunt, P. Broderick, P. McConn.