GALWAY manager Liam Sammon handed starting jerseys to three newcomers to senior championship football for the Tribesmen's eagerly awaited clash with Roscommon in Pearse Stadium this Sunday.
2007 Irish Examiner young footballer of the year Paul Conroy is selected at wing-forward and two members of the Moycullen team that won the club Intermediate All-Ireland last February, Gareth Bradshaw and Mark Lydon also make their debuts.
Wicklow boss Mick O’Dwyer is waiting on fitness reports on defenders Damien Power and Dara Ó hEannaigh before selecting his side for Sunday’s Leinster SFC first round tie against Kildare at Croke Park.
Said the Garden County boss: “Both are struggling with injury and I want to give them as much time as possible before naming our team. However we are governed by rule to name a team by Wednesday and we’ll do that after training tonight. It remains to be seen if they will make the side.”
Johnny Doyle is Kildare’s only injury concern but Kildare mentor Niall Carew is confident he will be fit for the Leinster opener. He revealed: “Johnny has a rib injury but is expected to be fit to play. Two of the U21 team which lost the All-Ireland final to Kerry are also like to get a start.”
Roscommon have concerns about Ger Heneghan, David Hoey (shoulder injuries) and David O’Gara (rib problem), before naming their starting 15 for Sunday’s Connacht SFC opener against Galway in Pearse Stadium. They will name this morning.
Meath manager Colm Coyle won’t name a team for the Leinster championship clash with Carlow until tomorrow night. At that stage he’ll know whether any of the five players appealing two months suspension following the Dublin fracas will be freed up to play after their appeal is heard by the DRA. Coyle already has five other players out through suspension while Anthony Moyles with a groin injury, and Shane O’Rourke (calf) are on the treatment table.
Cavan will be without team captain Mark McKeever and Darren Rabbit for Sunday’s Ulster SFC opening game against Antrim in Casement Park.
McKeever received two straight reds in recent weeks and has had his suspension doubled as a result while Rabbitt damaged his knee in a club game. Team coach Donal Keoghan will announced his team today.
Fresh from their victory over Fermanagh last Sunday, Tyrone hurlers are in action again in the Ulster championship, this time against London in Omagh on Sunday. With no injuries to report the team which will be announced tonight, is likely to be the same as last week.
Meanwhile Wexford manager Jason Ryan has ruled forward ace John Hudson out of the Leinster SFC opener on June 1.
“John will definitely not make the championship quarter-final against the winners of Meath and Carlow. His knee recovery is much slower than anticipated.”
Wexford have played Armagh, Donegal and Sligo in recent challenge games and Ryan has been happy with the outings.
“I am not the least concerned with the results. This was an opportunity to provide players coming back from injury and those on the fringes with game time. It was important that all the panel had game time in preparation for the championship.’’
He also admitted that he utilised the game to plan ahead. ‘‘We used the game to try out some new plans. The games against both Armagh and Donegal were very physical. They were the type of games we can expect in the championship against Meath or Carlow.”
GALWAY SFC v (Roscommon: Paul Doherty, Kieran Fitzgerald, Finian Hanley, Gareth Bradshaw, Declan Meehan, Niall Coyne, Gary Sice, Barry Cullinane, Mark Lydon, Damien Dunleavy, Padraic Joyce (Cpt), Paul Conroy, Matthew Clancy, Michael Meehan, Fiachra Breathnach.
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