Meehan included in Galway team

Michael Meehan will make his first start of this year's Championship when he lines out for Galway against Antrim in the All-Ireland SFC qualifiers tomorrow.

Michael Meehan will make his first start of this year's Championship when he lines out for Galway against Antrim in the All-Ireland SFC qualifiers tomorrow.

Meehan and Conor Doherty have been added to the Tribesmen's attack for the second round qualifier at Casement Park (throw-in 3pm).

Galway had a surprising Connacht SFC semi-final defeat to Sligo last time out and manager Alan Mulholland has reacted by making a series of changes.

In a rejigged defence, Tom Fahy comes in at left half-back with Kieran McGrath dropping to the substitutes bench and Keith Kelly switching to right corner back.

Greg Higgins is also benched as Fiontán Ó Curraoin gets the nod in midfield, while Damien Burke and Thomas Flynn make way for Meehan and Doherty up front.

Cormac Bane is a notable absentee from the Galway panel after he recently opted to take a break from inter-county football. A 'freak' knee injury also means Niall Coleman misses out.

Speaking about the loss of those players in the Galway Independent, Mulholland said: "Cormac has stepped side from the panel. He is not too happy with his own form and has decided to take a break.

“But we will not be replacing him in the squad at this stage and the door remains open for him, should we manage to stay in the Championship.

“Niall's injury was a complete freak really. He fell on Fiontán Ó Curraoin's studs and chipped his knee. Some debris from the kneecap was worked its way into the knee and he'll be out for some time."

Galway have never met Antrim in a Championship match before and their recent record in the qualifiers is poor - a win this weekend would represent their first success in the qualifiers since they beat Louth back in 2004.

“Going up to face Antrim in Belfast won't be easy. I watched their (Ulster SFC) game against Monaghan and they were unlucky to lose," added Mulholland.

“We are keen to show our supporters that what happened against Sligo - especially in the second half - is not our true form.

"We have been going well in training again and hopefully we can manage to pick up the win."

GALWAY (SFC v Antrim): Adrian Faherty; Keith Kelly, Finian Hanley, Johnny Duane; Garreth Bradshaw, Gary O'Donnell, Tom Fahy; Joe Bergin, Fiontán Ó Curraoin; Gary Sice, Sean Armstrong, Conor Doherty; Michael Meehan, Paul Conroy, Mark Hehir.

Subs: Manus Breathnach, Kieran McGrath, Diarmaid Blake, Gary Sweeney, Colin Forde, Greg Higgins, Thomas Flynn, Damien Burke, Danny Cummins, Padraic Joyce, Michael Martin.

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