Geraghty may miss out on Royal return

MEATH boss Seamus McEnaney last night handed out senior championship debuts to U21 duo Bryan Menton and Ciaran Lenehan for Sunday’s Leinster quarter-final against Kildare in Croke Park but the involvement of veteran forward Graham Geraghty remains unclear as the list of Royal County substitutes has yet to be released.

Menton and Lenehan will line up in the half-back line alongside team captain Seamus Kenny in a rearguard that has undergone dramatic changes from last year’s All-Ireland quarter-final defeat to Kildare.

Kevin Reilly and Gary O’Brien are the only defensive survivors with Anthony Moyles and Caoimhin King amongst those not included. The Meath attack is along familiar lines with five of the offensive sextet from that loss to the Lilywhites named here but the 38-year-old Geraghty, dramatically recalled to the panel recently by McEnaney, will have to be satisfied — at best — with a place on the bench.

Meanwhile the Kerry footballers midfield problems have been compounded with the loss of Seamus Scanlon for Saturday’s Munster semi-final against Limerick. Scanlon has been ruled out as he is undergoing a minor medical procedure. The Currow man started in the quarter-final tie against Tipperary 10 days ago after Anthony Maher cried off with flu before the game. The loss of Scanlon and long-term injury victim David Moran leaves Bryan Sheehan, Micheal Quirke and Maher as the main midfield options for manager Jack O’Connor, although attacker Kieran Donaghy could also be deployed in that sector.

Tyrone referee Martin Sludden is set to take charge of his first senior intercounty championship game since last July’s controversial Leinster final when he officiates at the Ulster quarter-final between Cavan and Donegal in Kingspan Breffni Park on Sunday week. Sludden was a linesman for Donegal’s opening round win over Antrim in Ballybofey last month yet all eyes will now be on his performance as he returns to championship refereeing.

Cork will welcome Eoin Cadogan back to their ranks for Sunday’s Munster SFC semi-final against Waterford in Páirc Uí Chaoimh. Cadogan missed the opening win over Clare due to his hurling commitments. Fintan Goold (Achilles), Anthony Lynch (hamstring) and James Fitzpatrick (broken nose) are injury concerns for Conor Counihan.

Finally Clare senior hurlers may have to plan without defender Domhnall O’Donovan for their Munster semi-final against Tipp on June 19 as the Clonlara player has a back injury.

MEATH (SF v Kildare): B Murphy; G O’Brien, K Reilly, S McAnarney; S Kenny (capt), B Menton, C Lenehan; N Crawford, B Meade; J Queeney, S O’Rourke, G Reilly; S Bray, J Sheridan, C Ward.

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