Donegal stick with All-Ireland winning side for Tyrone challenge

Donegal are poised to field the team that won the All-Ireland SFC title for them eight months ago when they get their 2013 Championship campaign underway against Tyrone on Sunday afternoon.

Donegal stick with All-Ireland winning side for Tyrone challenge

Donegal are poised to field the team that won the All-Ireland SFC title for them eight months ago when they get their 2013 Championship campaign underway against Tyrone on Sunday afternoon.

Manager Jim McGuinness has kept faith with the side that started last September's final victory over Mayo, despite the fact that current Footballer of the Year Karl Lacey and fellow All-Stars Mark McHugh and Frank McGlynn have struggled with injuries of late.

The trio have been included for the Ulster quarter-final clash with Tyrone at Ballybofey (throw-in 4pm).

Lacey said earlier this week that he was ready to return from the hip surgery that sidelined him for the Allianz League. However, he only resumed training three weeks ago and may yet start from the bench.

Wing forward McHugh and wing back McGlynn have reportedly proven their fitness after time out with hamstring injuries.

Meanwhile, Stephen O'Neill has shaken off an ankle injury to captain Tyrone for Sunday's showdown with the defending Ulster and All-Ireland champions.

The talismanic forward missed the league final against Dublin after damaging his ankle in the warm-up at Croke Park, but he will make a timely return this weekend.

Tyrone boss Mickey Harte has handed Championship debuts to goalkeeper Niall Morgan and corner forward Connor McAliskey, two players who shone during the Red Hands' encouraging league run.

The return of O'Neill and Peter Harte, who is back after a hamstring injury, to the full-forward and centre forward berths respectively sees Paddy McNeice and Dermot Carlin make way.

There are nine of the team included from last year's Ulster semi-final loss to Donegal, but Ronan O'Neill has lost his battle with a hamstring injury and will be sidelined for the Championship opener.

DONEGAL (SFC v Tyrone): P Durcan; P McGrath, N McGee, E McGee; A Thompson, K Lacey, F McGlynn; N Gallagher, R Kavanagh; M McHugh, L McLoone, R Bradley; P McBrearty, M Murphy, C McFadden.

TYRONE: N Morgan; PJ Quinn, C Clarke, C McCarron; Justin McMahon, Joe McMahon, C Gormley; C Cavanagh, S Cavanagh; Matthew Donnelly, P Harte, Mark Donnelly; M Penrose, S O'Neill, C McAliskey.

More in this section

Sport
Newsletter

Latest news from the world of sport, along with the best in opinion from our outstanding team of sports writers

Sign up