Familiar look to Donegal side tasked with beating Tyrone

Champions Donegal will begin their defence of the Ulster SFC against Tyrone at Ballybofey on Sunday (4pm) with the same 15 players who started last September’s All-Ireland final win over Mayo.

Familiar look to Donegal side tasked with beating Tyrone

Two stars of last year’s win, Karl Lacey and Mark McHugh, had been troubled with hip and groin injuries respectively during the spring, but both have been passed fit to start while Frank McGlynn has shaken off a hamstring complaint. Justin McMahon, who missed Tyrone’s league final defeat to Dublin, is named at centre-back alongside brother Joe and Conor Gormley.

Skipper Stephen O’Neill has been passed fit and will lead Tyrone.

O’Neill, who missed the NFL final after injuring an ankle in a freak pre-match accident, has been named at full-forward for the clash.

Peter Harte is also back in the side at centre-forward, having recovered from a hamstring injury. Nine players who started last year’s semi-final defeat to Donegal are included.

Mickey Harte has made two changes from last month’s league final defeat to Dublin, with Paddy McNeice and Dermot Carlin making way to accommodate the return of O’Neill and Harte.

Goalkeeper and free-kicking sensation Niall Morgan is one of two championship debutants, corner-forward Conor McAliskey the other.

Ronan O’Neill misses out with a hamstring injury, but Aidan Cassidy has recovered from an ankle problem to take his place on the bench.

Meanwhile, corner-back Fionn Fitzgerald is Kerry’s only debutant for their Munster quarter-final against Tipperary at 2pm on Sunday, though his Dr Crokes clubmate Johnny Buckley is making his first championship start at midfield. Another Crokes man, captain Eoin Brosnan, does not start due to injury, meaning that Colm Cooper skippers the side.

Cooper is named at centre-forward while Declan O’Sullivan forms the inside line with Kieran Donaghy and James O’Donoghue.

Right corner-back John Coghlan, a former member of the county’s hurling panel, and centre-forward Ian Fahey, a 2011 All-Ireland minor football medallist, are Tipp’s debutants.

Cork manager Conor Counihan has given championship debuts to five players. Goalkeeper Ken O’Halloran, who played throughout the league in the absence of Alan Quirke, left corner-back Damien Cahalane and left half-back Tomás Clancy are the new faces in defence, where Eoin Cadogan has recovered enough from his ankle injury to start at right corner-back.

In attack, Cahalane’s U21 colleagues John O’Rourke and Brian Hurley are picked at left half-forward and full-forward respectively and Patrick Kelly, who missed the entire league campaign with a hip injury, is at centre-forward. Ciarán Sheehan plays at No 10 having overcome his shoulder problem.

Longford, who travel to Aughrim to face Wicklow on Sunday (3.30pm), are boosted by the availability of Paul Barden. He is named at centre-forward after missing much of the league campaign, while Pádraig McCormack and Robbie Smyth are rewarded for good performances as the county reached the Leinster U21 final.

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