Boost for Mayo as Heaney and Nallen ready to face Tribesmen

MAYO have named an unchanged side from that which defeated Leitrim in the semi-final for Sunday’s Bank of Ireland Connacht SFC final with Galway at Castlebar.

Seasoned warriors Dermot Heaney and James Nallen, both carrying niggling leg injuries, were passed fit after undergoing fitness tests last night.

Heaney has been named at right-half back, with Nallen again marshalling the Mayo defence from centre-back.

Half backs Liam Hinphey and Paul Cartin have been recalled to the Derry team for tomorrow’s All-Ireland football qualifier against Longford at Pearse Park. Both players missed the win over Kildare because of injuries. They replace the injured Joe O’Kane and Fergal McCrossan.

Derek Heavin and John Connellan return to the Westmeath team for their All-Ireland qualifier with Sligo in Sligo tomorrow.

They replace the injured Brendan Nammery and Joe Fallon at right-half forward and right-full forward respectively. The other change on the Westmeath team sees Garry Dolan taking over the centre-forward duties from Gordon Duffy.

Barry Kivlehan returns to the Sligo team for tomorrow’s qualifier against Westmeath at Markievicz Park.

Kivlehan has recovered from a calf-muscle injury and comes in at left-half back in place of Karol O’Neill, who moves to left-corner forward in place of Adrian Marren.

Dublin manager Tommy Naughton has made two changes to his team for tomorrow’s All-Ireland SHC relegation play-off against Westmeath in Tullamore. Dave Sweeney returns to the starting 15 at midfield alongside Stephen McDonnell, while up front Alan McCrabbe will start after recovering from illness.

Stuart Mullen and Peadar Carton lose out as the Dubs rejig their attack. The counties clashed in the Leinster SHC quarter-final in May when Westmeath triumphed 0-13 to 0-11.

Former All-Star defender, Noel Hickey faces a battle to be fit to assist Kilkenny in the Guinness All-Ireland SHC quarter-final against Galway in Thurles tomorrow week.

The Dunnamaggin defender pulled up with a hamstring injury during training last night.

It will be next week before the player will know whether or not he will make the big game.

Kilkenny management are confident the 27-year-old will take his place in defence but will leave a final decision until a few days before the game.

Hickey’s season has been blighted by injury. Already he has missed action with rib and groin injuries while he was sidelined for nine months with a serious viral infection last season.

Meanwhile, it has emerged that there will be no tickets available for sale to the general public in Kilkenny for the big double header at Thurles, which also features All-Ireland champions Cork and Limerick.

Clubs will take up Kilkenny’s full allocation of 10,200 tickets.

Even at All-Ireland time there are always tickets available to the public but that doesn’t look like being the situation this time. The hunger for tickets is in contrast to the Leinster final, when just 2,500 tickets were sold by the county board.

MAYO (SFC v Galway): J. Healy; D. Geraghty, J. O’Malley, K. Higgins; D. Heaney, J. Nallen, P. Gardiner; T. McGarrity, P. Harte; B. J. Padden, G. Brady, A. Dillon; C. Mortimer, C. McDonald, A. Moran.

DERRY (SFC v Longford): B. Gillis; K. McGuckin, K. McCloy, F. McEndowney; P. Cartin, M. Lynch, L. Hinphey; J. McBride, F. Doherty; J. Diver, J. Kelly, G. Donaghey; C. Mullan, P. Bradley, E. Bradley.

WESTMEATH (SFC v Sligo): G. Connaghton; D. Healy, J. Keane, F. Boyle; M. Ennis, D. O’Donoghue, G. Rellin; D. Duffy, P. Bannon; D. Heavin, G. Dolan, A. Mangan; J. Connellan, D. Brennan, D. Dolan.

SLIGO (SFC v Westmeath) P. Greene, C. Harrison, N. McGuire (capt.), R. Donovan, P. McGovern, B. Egan, B. Kivlehan, E. O’Hara, T. Taylor, J. McPartland, M. Breheny, P. Doohan, D. Kelly, S. Davey, K. O’Neill.

DUBLIN (SH v Westmeath): G. Maguire; G. O’Meara, K. Ryan, P. Brennan; M. Carton, R. Fallon, T. Brady; D. Sweeney, S. McDonnell; J. McCaffrey, L. Ryan, D. Curtin; J. Kelly, K. Flynn, A. McCrabbe.

MAYO (MFC v Roscommon): A. McCallig; L. Tunney, F. Burke, K. McLoughlin; K. Barrett, B. Gibbons, A. Murray; T. Parsons, D. Gallagher; S. Prendergast, P. Hanley, K. Glynn; G. O’Boyle, L. Lydon, M. Sweeney.

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