Tyrone blow as O’Neill ruled out

FOOTBALLER of the Year Stephen O’Neill has lost his fitness battle ahead of this weekend’s Ulster Football Championship clash with Derry.

The Tyrone full forward is ruled out by a hamstring injury, but there’s better news on Owen Mulligan, who has recovered from a foot injury, and his inclusion will be a massive boost to a depleted attack.

The inclusion of Mulligan is just one positive note in a week of bleak developments on the injury front for the All-Ireland champions will take the field at Healy Park with a severely weakened side.

Gerard Cavlan, Mickey McGee, Joe McMahon, and Martin Penrose have failed to make it, and manager Mickey Harte has had to make significant alterations.

Cormac McGinley comes in at full back for his first championship game in three seasons, with Conor Gormley moving out to centre back, and Ciaran Gourley comes into the left corner for McGee.

The midfield partnership of Sean Cavanagh and Kevin Hughes, who starred in Tyrone’s first All-Ireland triumph in 2003, will both play in attack, Cavanagh at centre forward and Hughes on the edge of the square.

Colin Holmes will be partnered at midfield by Peter Donnelly, while there’s a debut for Raymond Mulgrew at left-half forward.

Galway footballers have received a big boost with Padraig Joyce recovering from injury for tomorrow’s refixed Connacht championship clash against Sligo at Pearse Stadium.

The former Allstar was not selected for Sunday’s original game against Sligo because of an Achilles tendon injury.

The game at Pearse Stadium was called off because the pitch became unplayable.

Now Galway boss Peter Ford and his selectors have received a timely boost with Joyce coming through a training session last night.

And Ford and his selectors had no hesitation in naming him in the starting fifteen.

The player to lose out is Joe Bergin who was selected at left-half forward.

Joyce has been allocated the No 12 jersey in an otherwise unchanged side, but it is possible the Galway attack may yet be reshuffled to accommodate him in a more central role.

Galway will be captained for the first time by Michael Donnellan as they bid to extend an unbeaten run against Sligo which goes back to 1975.

Meath manager Eamon Barry has postponed naming his side to play Wexford in the Leinster SFC until tomorrow in order to give Anthony Moyles time to prove his fitness.

Moyle broke his arm in a club game two months ago and is almost ready to return, but Barry will put him through a fitness test before naming his team.

London manager Noel Dunning has included four newcomers on his team for Sunday’s Conancht SFC clash with Mayo in Ruislip. Making their first championship appearance will be goalkeeper Brian McBreaty, corner back Paul Earley, centre forward Jack O’Connor and corner forward Wayne O’Sullivan.

Former Kildare footballer Stuart McKenzie-Smith will start the match at full-forward, while there are four Mayo natives in the starting fifteen.

Tyrone pair Stephen O’Neill and Mickey McGee have been ruled out of Sunday’s Ulster SFC clash with Derry. Manager Mickey Harte has confirmed that both have lost their race for fitness with the loss of footballer of the year O’Neill a major blow for the Red Hands.

Both are suffering from hamstring injuries while a number of other players are doubts for the Omagh clash. Martin Penrose, Joe McMahon and Gerard Cavlan remain injury concerns but Owen Mulligan is fit after a foot injury. Penrose is the biggest worry with Harte describing the half-forward as “extremely doubtful”.

Tyrone will be without Brian McGuigan for the entire season. The centre half-forward sustained a broken leg in a club game last month.

Derry will definitely be without injured players Paul Murphy, Gerard O’Kane, Gavin Donaghy and Paul Cartin while a number of other Oak Leaf players are also nursing knocks.

TYRONE (SFC v Derry): P McConnell, R McMenamin, C McGinley, C Gourley, D Harte, C Gormley, P Jordan, C Holmes, P Donnelly, B Dooher, S Cavanagh, R Mulgrew, R Mellon, K Hughes, O Mulligan.

DERRY (SFC v Tyrone) B Gillis; K McGuckin, ,K McCloy, F McEldowney; L Hinphey, P McFlynn, J O’Kane; J McBride, J Diver; M Lynch, B McGoldrick, F Doherty; E Muldoon, P Bradley, E Bradley.

GALWAY (SFC v Sligo): A Keane; K Fitzgerald, F Hanley, D Meehan; A Burke, D Blake, M Comer; P Clancy, P Geraghty; N Coleman, M Donnellan, P Joyce; D Savage, M Meehan, S Armstrong.

LONDON (SFC v Mayo): B McBreaty; P Callaghan, C Beirne, P Earley; P McConigley, D McKenna, A McLernon; K Woldron, E Brennan; P Quirke, J O’Murphy, B Solan; C Foody, S McKenzie-Smith, W O’Sullivan.

CORK IHC v Clare): A. Nash (Kanturk); J Hughes (Blarney), W Twomey (Kilworth), T Lordan (Courcey Rovers); B Lombard (Ballinhassig), D McSweeney (Blarney), V Hurley (Courcey Rovers); M O’Callaghan (Argideen Rovers), S Dineen (Ballinhassig); R O’Dwyer (Ballymartle), D Dineen (Balinhassig), J Russell (Grenagh); S Hayes (Courcey Rovers), R O’Dwyer (Ballincollig), M O’Sullivan (Ballyhea).

Subs: J Barry (St Finbarrs), B Coleman (Ballinhassig), S Cronin (Erins Own), T Healy (Buttevant), F O’Leary (Ballinhassig), P O’Neill (Aghada), C O’Leary (Blackrock), P O’Brien (Kildorrery), G O’Driscoll (Newcestown).

More in this section

CourtsGaaPlace: Healy ParkPlace: Pearse StadiumPlace: LondonPlace: RuislipPerson: TyronePerson: O’NeillPerson: Stephen O’NeillPerson: Owen MulliganPerson: MulliganPerson: Gerard CavlanPerson: Mickey McGeePerson: Joe McMahonPerson: Martin PenrosePerson: Mickey HartePerson: Cormac McGinleyPerson: Conor GormleyPerson: Ciaran GourleyPerson: McGeePerson: Sean CavanaghPerson: Kevin HughesPerson: CavanaghPerson: HughesPerson: Colin HolmesPerson: Peter DonnellyPerson: Raymond MulgrewPerson: Padraig JoycePerson: Peter FordPerson: JoycePerson: FordPerson: Joe BerginPerson: Michael DonnellanPerson: Eamon BarryPerson: Anthony MoylesPerson: MoylePerson: BarryPerson: Noel DunningPerson: Brian McBreatyPerson: Paul EarleyPerson: Jack O’ConnorPerson: Wayne O’SullivanPerson: Stuart McKenzie-SmithPerson: PenrosePerson: HartePerson: Brian McGuiganPerson: Paul MurphyPerson: Gerard O’KanePerson: Gavin DonaghyPerson: Paul CartinPerson: R McMenaminPerson: C McGinleyPerson: C GourleyPerson: D HartePerson: C GormleyPerson: P JordanPerson: C HolmesPerson: P DonnellyPerson: B DooherPerson: S CavanaghPerson: R MulgrewPerson: R MellonPerson: K HughesPerson: O MulliganPerson: DerryPerson: BPerson: K McGuckinPerson: K McCloyPerson: F McEldowneyPerson: L HinpheyPerson: P McFlynnPerson: J O’KanePerson: J McBridePerson: J DiverPerson: M LynchPerson: B McGoldrickPerson: F DohertyPerson: E MuldoonPerson: E BradleyPerson: K FitzgeraldPerson: F HanleyPerson: D MeehanPerson: A BurkePerson: D BlakePerson: M ComerPerson: P ClancyPerson: N ColemanPerson: M DonnellanPerson: P JoycePerson: D SavagePerson: M MeehanPerson: S ArmstrongPerson: B McBreatyPerson: P CallaghanPerson: C BeirnePerson: P EarleyPerson: P McConigleyEvent: Ulster Football ChampionshipEvent: All-IrelandEvent: ConnachtEvent: Conancht SFCEvent: Ulster SFCOrganisation: DerryOrganisation: TyroneOrganisation: SligoOrganisation: GalwayOrganisation: WexfordOrganisation: Leinster SFCOrganisation: MayoOrganisation: Red HandsOrganisation: Oak LeafOrganisation: SFC
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