Kavanagh included in Longford line-up

Influential forward Brian Kavanagh has been named in the Longford team for Sunday's Leinster SFC first round clash with Louth at O'Moore Park (throw-in 3.50pm).

Influential forward Brian Kavanagh has been named in the Longford team for Sunday's Leinster SFC first round clash with Louth at O'Moore Park (throw-in 3.50pm).

But doubts still surround Kavanagh's fitness and he will undergo a late fitness test before he will be able to feature in the Portlaoise tie.

A broken bone in his ankle was set to rule him out for six weeks, but Longford manager Glenn Ryan is obviously keeping his fingers crossed that the Kilmacud Crokes clubman can make a quicker than expected recovery.

Ryan said: "It's just unfortunate that at this time of the year Brian picks up an injury. (If he doesn't play) he's going to be a big loss for us. He had been doing particularly well this year."

If Kavanagh starts, he will have Paul Barden for company in the full-forward line, after his recovery from a muscle strain.

Paddy Dowd, who retired from the inter-county scene earlier this year, will start on the right wing, with Kevin Mulligan, who recently returned in a challenge match against Offaly, lining out on the left wing.

This is Ryan's second season in charge of Longford, and he has brought Meath All-Ireland winner Graham Geraghty on board as forwards coach in a bid to sharpening up his side's attacking.

"It's the biggest day out of the year so far for the players and they are looking forward to it," Ryan told the Longford Leader.

"The lads by and large have been in good form. Hopefully we will be in the right frame of mind for Sunday. The lads will certainly be up for it.

"Louth are a physical side. They have plenty of good forwards and are capable on any day of beating any of the big guns. It's certainly going to be a tough game for us."

This will be the sides' first Leinster Championship meeting since 2002 when Louth won a replay by 3-17 to 1-12. The previous summer saw Longford triumph on a 1-11 to 1-9 scoreline.

The winners of Sunday's game will face Kildare, Ryan's native county, in a June 5 quarter-final.

LONGFORD (SFC v Louth): D Sheridan; D Brady, D Masterson, S Hannon; S Mulligan, E Williams, P Foy; A O'Connor, B Gilleran; P Dowd, F McGee, K Mulligan; D Reilly, B Kavanagh, P Barden.

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