Five changes for Dublin hurlers

Dublin hurling boss Tommy McNaughton has made five changes to his side for tomorrow's All-Ireland SHC qualifier against Offaly - a tie which sees the boys in blue fighting for their top-tier lives.

Dublin hurling boss Tommy McNaughton has made five changes to his side for tomorrow's All-Ireland SHC qualifier against Offaly - a tie which sees the boys in blue fighting for their top-tier lives.

If McNaughton's charges lose their final Group 2 outing at Parnell Park (throw-in 3pm), a relegation play-off against either Antrim or Laois lies in wait. The losers of that will drop out of the Championship proper and into the second-tier Christy Ring Cup competition for 2006.

With that in mind, McNaughton has freshened his line-up with both Dave Sweeney and Kevin Flynn returning.

Sweeney links up with Damien Russell at midfield following a hamstring strain, while Flynn lines out at corner forward, having shaken off an illness.

Manus Breathnach, who has failed to score in the qualifiers, loses out in the half-forward line, as does David Curtin due to a hand injury. Eoin Moran and Johnny Kingston deputise.

Greg Bennett has been given the nod at left-half back with Tommy Moore dropping back to the other flank and Russell preferred at centre-field.

Offaly, meanwhile, have ominously named an unchanged line-up for tomorrow's tie. The Faithfuls, who lost their first two qualifier ties against Waterford and Clare, the latter by a single point last weekend, could cut loose with little to play for but pride.

DUBLIN (SHC v Offaly): G Maguire; G O'Meara, S Hiney, J Cullen; D O'Reilly, R Fallon, G Bennett; D Sweeney, D Russell; E Moran, J Kingston, T Moore; E Carroll, M Carton, K Flynn.

OFFALY: B Mullins; K Brady, G Oakley, P Cleary; B Whelahan, R Hanniffy, B Teehan; M Cordial, G Hanniffy; B Murphy, M O'Hara, S Browne; B Carroll, A Hanrahan, D Hayden.

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