Brave Earley still ready to step up for Lilywhites

THE All-Ireland SFC qualifier between Kildare and Antrim will go ahead as scheduled tomorrow night in Newbridge, and Dermot Earley jnr will be available to line out for the Lilywhites.

There had been speculation that the game would be postponed due to the burial of Earley’s father, Dermot snr, earlier in the day but the family made it known that they would not want any disruption to be caused to fixtures.

It had been thought that Dermot jnr would be unavailable to play but Kildare selector, Niall Carew has revealed that the All-Star midfielder would be playing.

“The GAA made the gesture to say that we could move the game back but the Earley family didn’t want to cause any backlog and Dermot said he was making himself available,” said Carew yesterday.

Kildare will not name their team until just before throw-in but will be without corner-forward Alan Smith who is sidelined with an ankle injury.

Meanwhile, Westmeath have recalled star attacker Dessie Dolan to their starting fifteen for Sunday’s Leinster SFC semi-final against Louth in Croke Park.

Dolan lines out at full-forward in place of the injured Martin Flanagan as team boss Pat Flanagan makes four changes in all from the side that triumphed against Wicklow in the quarter-finals. Kevin Maguire comes in for John Gaffey at left corner-back, Derek Heavin is named instead of John Smyth at right half-forward and Ger Egan replaces Alan Gaughan at left half-forward.

Wexford manager Jason Ryan has named an unchanged team for Sunday’s trip to face London in Ruislip in the first round of the All-Ireland qualifiers, with one positional switch seeing Redmond Barry move to wing-forward with Shane Roche now playing at full-forward.

Offaly manager Tom Cribbin has made four changes for their All-Ireland SFC qualifier against Clare on Saturday from the team that lost to Meath in the Leinster championship. Into the side comes Brian Darby at right corner-back, Ross Brady at centre-back, Brian Geraghty at right half-forward and Anton Sullivan at right corner-forward, with John Coughlan, Shane Sullivan, Ciaran Kiely and Sean Ryan the players who are replaced.

Opponents Clare have named an unchanged side from that which lost to Waterford in the Munster SFC quarter-final but John Hayes has recovered from injury to be amongst the substitutes.

Tipperary manager John Evans has rung the changes by making six alterations to his starting fifteen for Sunday’s All-Ireland SFC qualifier round 1 against Laois in Semple Stadium, from the team that lost out to Kerry in the Munster championship.

Into the team comes Matthew O’Donnell in goal, Paddy Codd at right corner-back, Brian Jones at centre-back, Brian Fox at left half-back, Stephen Hahessy at right half-forward and Conor Sweeney at left corner-forward. Ciaran McDonald, Christopher Aylward, Sean Carey, Paul Fitzgerald, Niall Curran and Brian Mulvihill are the players who are replaced.

Antrim manager Dinny Cahill has made five changes for Sunday’s Ulster SHC final against Down from the team that lost out to Offaly after extra-time in the Leinster SHC quarter-final recently. Colin O’Donnell, Stephen Delargy, PJ O’Connell, Conor McFall and Liam Watson all come into the team at the expense of Gearoid Magee, Aaron Graffin, Neil McAuley, Eoin McCloskey and James Scullion.

Mayo and Derry are set to delay naming their teams for Saturday’s All-Ireland qualifiers against Longford and Carlow respectively until just before throw-in, as are both Offaly and Galway before their SHC replay in Portlaoise tomorrow night.

Derek Molloy is considered extremely doubtful with an ankle injury, while there is also a doubt over the availability of Daniel Currams as his appeal against last Sunday’s sending-off will only be heard this evening.

Meanwhile, Waterford will field four of last year’s Munster championship winning side for tomorrow evening’s Munster MHC semi-final against Cork in Pairc Ui Chaoimh. The quartet are defenders Luke Egan, Martin O’Neill and Daragh Fives along with wing forward Paraic Mahony, while corner forward Jake Dillon was a panellist on the 2009 winning side.

WESTMEATH (SF v Louth): G Connaughton; F Boyle, D O’Donoghue, K Maguire; M Ennis, K Martin, D Harte; D Duffy, P Bannon; D Heavin, C Lynam, G Egan; P Greville, D Dolan, D Glennon.

WEXFORD (SF v London): A Masterson; J Wadding, G Molloy, B Malone; A Flynn, D Murphy, A Doyle; D Waters, E Bradley; C Morris, M Forde, R Barry; C Lyng, S Roche, PJ Banville.

OFFALY (SF v Clare): A Mulhall; B Darby, S Brady, S Pender; N Darby, R Brady, K Slattery; B Geraghty, R Dalton; J Reynolds, B Connor, C McManus; A Sullivan, K Casey, N McNamee.

CLARE (SF v Offaly): J Hayes; M Tubridy, B Duggan, B Carrig; M McMahon, G Kelly, D Callinan; G Quinlan, G Brennan; M O’Shea, P O’Dwyer, A Clohessy; D Tubridy, D Russell, D Daly.

TIPPERARY (SF v Laois): M O’Donnell; P Codd, R Costigan, A Morrissey; C McGrath, B Jones, B Fox; G Hannigan, K Mulryan; S Hahessy, H Coghlan, P Acheson; P Austin, B Grogan, C Sweeney.

ANTRIM (SH v Down): C O'Donnell; K McGourty, C Donnelly, S Delargy; P Shiels, J Campbell, C Herron; S McNaughton, K Stewart; C McFall, T McCann, L Watson; PJ O'Connell, N McManus, K McKeegan.

WATERFORD (MH v Cork): D Duggan (Dungarvan); J Barron (Fourmilewater), D O’Keeffe (Ballygunner), L Egan (Dungarvan); M O’Neill (Mount Sion), D Fives (Tourin), E Madigan (De La Salle); P Prendergast (Lismore), G O’Brien (Roanmore); P Mahony (Ballygunner), E Murphy (Dunhill), C Curran (Dungarvan); J Dillon (De La Salle), C Heffernan (Ferrybank), S Roche (Mount Sion).

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