Kildare and Tyrone roll the dice ahead of Newbridge showdown

Kildare and Tyrone have both made significant changes at full-forward for their All-Ireland SFC third round qualifier encounter in Newbridge tomorrow night (throw-in 7pm).

Kildare and Tyrone roll the dice ahead of Newbridge showdown

Kildare and Tyrone have both made significant changes at full-forward for their All-Ireland SFC third round qualifier encounter in Newbridge tomorrow night (throw-in 7pm).

Stephen O'Neill has shaken off the Achilles injury which kept him out of Tyrone's wins over Offaly and Roscommon in the previous rounds, returning to lead Tyrone from the full-forward position.

Meanwhile, target man Tomás O'Connor is also back in the Kildare starting line-up having scored a goal and provided a number of assists as an impact substitute against Louth last weekend.

Tyrone manager Mickey Harte has made two changes to the side that beat Roscommon by two points, with Ciaran McGinley and Connor McAliskey making way for corner back Aidan McCrory and O'Neill, the 32-year-old former Footballer of the Year.

O'Neill will be hoping to recapture the form which saw him shoot four points - including two superb closing scores - in the Red Hands' league semi-final win over Kildare in April.

Harte's Kildare counterpart Kieran McGeeney has brought in O'Connor and regular captain Eamonn Callaghan for the televised St. Conleth's Park clash. Mikey Conway and Paul Cribbin are the players to lose out, with Callaghan having been a late withdrawal for the Louth game.

This is only Kildare's second ever Championship meeting with Tyrone. O'Neill and veteran Kildare sharpshooter John Doyle both scored 0-7 when the sides meet in an All-Ireland quarter-final four years ago which ended in a 0-16 to 1-11 win for Harte's men.

Speaking at the launch of the Mater Foundation's Croghan Hill Challenge earlier this week, Tyrone boss Harte said: "I was surprised to see Kildare beaten by as much as that (16 points against Dublin). They were unfortunate they met Dublin who were hungry for goals. Once they got going like that, it became a damage-limitation job.

"No one likes to play in a game like that and it isn't reflective of how good Kildare are.

"I'm sure they want to put that right and they did that to some degree against Louth. They showed they are much better than they were against Dublin (in the Leinster semi-final). They're a top side."

KILDARE (SFC v Tyrone): Shane Connolly; David Hyland, Peter Kelly, Hugh McGrillen; Eamonn Callaghan (capt), Morgan O'Flaherty, Emmet Bolton; Daryl Flynn, Padraig O'Neill; Daniel Flynn, Niall Kelly, Eoghan O'Flaherty; John Doyle, Tomás O'Connor, Paddy Brophy.

TYRONE: Pascal McConnell; Aidan McCrory, Conor Clarke, Cathal McCarron; Ryan McKenna, Peter Harte, Conor Gormley; Colm Cavanagh, Sean Cavanagh; Matthew Donnelly, Mark Donnelly, Joe McMahon, Darren McCurry, Stephen O'Neill (capt), Martin Penrose.

Subs: Michael O'Neill, Dermot Carlin, Aidan Cassidy, Kyle Coney, Conan Grugan, Plunkett Kane, Johnathan Lafferty, Connor McAliskey, Danny McBride, Tiernan McCann, Justin McMahon.

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