Saturday 29 April 2017

Horan gives Mayo youth its fling for London opener

Donnchadh Boyle

Donnchadh Boyle

Mayo boss James Horan has named six championship debutants for the clash with London on Sunday in a side that shows wholesale changes from the one that lost to Longford in the qualifiers last year.

Only seven of the side that lost in Pearse Park almost 12 months ago get the nod to start in Ruislip, as goalkeeper Robert Hennelly, full-back Alan Feeney, wing-back Richie Feeney, midfielders James Kilcullen and Jason Gibbons, and corner-forward Jason Doherty all make their championship bows.

It means established players like David Clarke, Peadar Gardiner, Aidan O'Shea and Enda Varley all have to be content with a place on the bench, while Keith Higgins, Ronan McGarrity and Seamus O'Shea were not considered due to injury.

Tyrone are sweating on the fitness of key attackers Sean Cavanagh and Martin Penrose ahead of their Ulster championship opener against Monaghan on Sunday week.

Damaged

Cavanagh is the greatest concern, having damaged an elbow in a club game 10 days ago. Defender Martin Swift is also doubtful with a hamstring injury, while emerging stars Niall McKenna and Ronan McNabb are also nursing injuries.

Joe McMahon and Enda McGinley have already been ruled out of the Farney clash.

Elsewhere, Joe Canning has insisted that he will be fit for Galway's showdown with Westmeath on Saturday week.

The Portumna ace had been a doubt due to a hamstring injury, but he will be available to John McIntyre for selection.

Offaly hurling manager Joe Dooley has introduced just one championship newcomer for Sunday's Leinster clash with Dublin at Croke Park.

Belmont's Colin Egan gets the nod at left half-forward, but James Rigney and David Franks miss out through injury.

Ciaran McManus will start his 16th championship season at half-forward when the Faithful's footballers take on Wexford in their Leinster SFC opener in Tullamore on Saturday (5.0).

McManus made his Offaly debut back in 1996 and takes his place in a half-forward line that includes Sean Ryan and Anton Sullivan.

Scott Brady starts at full-back, with Niall McNamee in the No 15 shirt. Wexford are expected to name their side tonight.

The finals of the Lory Meagher, Nicky Rackard and Christy Ring Cup competitions will be held at Croke Park on Saturday week, with throw-in times of 12.0, 2.0 and 4.0 respectively. Extra-time will be played in each of the games if necessary.

Irish Independent

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