O'Flaherty to start for Kildare against Dubs

Morgan O'Flaherty's inclusion at centre back is the only change Kildare manager Kieran McGeeney has made for Sunday's Leinster SFC semi-final against Dublin at Croke Park (throw-in 4pm).

O'Flaherty to start for Kildare against Dubs

Morgan O'Flaherty's inclusion at centre back is the only change Kildare manager Kieran McGeeney has made for Sunday's Leinster SFC semi-final against Dublin at Croke Park (throw-in 4pm).

O'Flaherty comes in for the injured Ollie Lyons who broke his collar bone in a challenge game against Kerry last Saturday. Lyons is a considerable loss for the Lilywhites given that he man-marked Bernard Brogan in previous clashes with the Dubs.

Experienced midfielder Padraig O'Neill is back available after missing the opening win over Offaly with bone bruising, however McGeeney has opted to stick with the centre-field pairing of Daryl and Daniel Flynn.

Alan Smith and Seanie Johnston have been unable to force their way into an unchanged attack.

Paddy Brophy and target man Tomás O'Connor were both held scoreless and replaced during the 0-19 to 1-12 victory over Offaly, but the remainder of the starting sextet scored 0-18 between them - free-taker Johnny Doyle finished with six points and half-forwards Eoghan O'Flaherty, Paul Cribbin and Niall Kelly scored 0-4 apiece.

Kildare have not beaten Dublin in the Championship since the 2000 final replay - the Dubs were victorious in 2002, 2009 and 2011 - and defender Morgan O'Flaherty is hugely determined to see the Lilywhites through to their first provincial final in four years.

"Dublin, over the last few years, they've proved that they have been a top three or four team. That's the level we're trying to get to so it's a matter, on these days, the bigger days, that we have to come up and play our cards and show that we are capable of reaching that level," O'Flaherty told the Irish Sun.

"Each year brings a different test and challenge and we know whoever you go out and face during the summer you can't take for granted. Every team is training as hard as each other and we're looking forward, trying to make that step to get back into a Leinster final.

"I've only played in one and been involved for one. It's all about silverware at the end of the day. In the bigger games over the last few years, we haven't beaten a top two or three team in the big games or in the summer.

"At the moment the heads are down, we're concentrating on Leinster. We take it one game at a time, so it's only a semi-final yet. We'll try and get over that and worry about winning silverware then."

KILDARE (SFC v Dublin): Mark Donnellan, Peter Kelly, Michael Foley, Hugh McGrillen; Eamon O'Callaghan (capt), Morgan O'Flaherty, Emmet Bolton; Daryl Flynn, Daniel Flynn; Paul Cribbin, Niall Kelly, Eoghan O'Flaherty; John Doyle, Tomás O'Connor, Paddy Brophy.

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