O’Neill set for Tyrone return

Tyrone’s hopes of claiming a win in Killarney this weekend have been handed a considerable boost with the news that Stephen O’Neill has been passed fit for the third round All-Ireland qualifier against Kerry.

The forward sat out last weekend’s defeat of Roscommon with a calf injury.

“We’re very optimistic that Stevie’s going to be okay,” said assistant manager Tony Donnelly. “It was a slight problem with the calf, it cramped up on him, but it looks like it’s going to be okay, all clear.”

Defender PJ Quinn is also fit and available for selection after a lengthy injury although Mickey Harte will have to again plan without Justin McMahon who looks set to miss his third successive championship game because of a hamstring injury.

Donnelly stressed that no risks will be taken with McMahon’s injury, and hinted that 20-year-old Conor Clarke will continue at full-back.

Dublin manager Pat Gilroy has thrown a slight curveball with his team to face Meath in Sunday’s Leinster final, naming midfielder Michael Darragh Macauley at full-forward in place of the suspended Diarmuid Connolly.

Macauley may wear the 14 jersey but he is expected to hang around his familiar midfield haunt for the majority of the game.

There is one further personnel alteration from the side which went on to beat Wexford after Connolly’s dismissal, with Cian O’Sullivan starting in the half-back line in place of Ger Brennan, who he replaced at half-time in the semi-final.

However, O’Sullivan is selected at left wing-back with Kevin Nolan moving into the centre.

Laois manager Justin McNulty has opted to retain the same starting 15 for this weekend’s All-Ireland qualifier game against Leitrim as began last Sunday’s round two victory against Monaghan at O’Moore Park.

That means Billy Sheehan retains his place and captain Kevin Meaney continues at full-back in place of the injured Kieran Lillis. The forward pair of MJ Tierney and David Conway will again start the game from the bench.

Antrim will face Tipperary in their qualifier in Thurles without two of their most important players with captain Aodhan Gallagher leaving the panel for personal reasons in the wake of Paddy Cunningham’s departure.

Gallagher, a stalwart with St Gall’s and the county, was a key player in the surprise defeat of Galway in Casement Park last weekend but manager Liam Bradley insisted on focusing on positives ahead of the trip to Tipp.

“Our win over Galway has boosted morale considerably and we are looking forward to facing Tipperary,” said the Derry native who has reportedly left the door open for Gallagher should he wish to return.

DUBLIN (SF v Meath): S Cluxton; M Fitzsimons, R O’Carroll, P McMahon; J McCarthy, K Nolan, C O’Sullivan; E Fennell, D Bastick; P Flynn, A Brogan, B Cullen; B Brogan, MD Macauley, K McManamon.

LAOIS (SF v Leitrim): E Culliton; C Healy, K Meaney, J Kavanagh; D Strong, J O’Loughlin, C Boyle; B Quigley, C Begley; R Munnelly, B Sheehan, G Walsh; D O’Connor, P Clancy, C Kelly.

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