Kelly back in as Kildare ring the changes
Published 24/06/2016 | 02:30
Niall Kelly returns to the Kildare team as manager Cian O'Neill makes five changes from the team that defeated Wexford for Sunday's Leinster football semi-final against Westmeath.
Kelly has had a knee injury and missed the Division 3 league final loss to Clare and the Wexford game. But the five-week break since their last outing has helped him to rehabilitate and he will spearhead the attack as he takes over from Alan Smith.
However, Daniel Flynn, who has also missed those games because of a hamstring injury, has had a setback and isn't among the replacements named but Ciaran Fitzpatrick, who injured an ankle in the Clare game, makes the squad.
Adam Tyrrell and Cian O'Donoghue, who both came on as substitutes in the grim 0-9 to 0-8 win over Wexford, retain their places with the injured Kevin Feely, Ryan Houlihan and Emmet Bolton all losing out. Jonathan Byrne moves to wing-back in place of Houlihan.
Paul Cribbin has also been ruled out with an ongoing knee injury and he is replaced in attack by Cathal McNally.
Kildare played two extra sweepers the last day with Morgan O'Flaherty and Bolton dropping back to shore up the defence and that task may now fall to O'Flaherty and Conway who is selected at midfield.
Ray Connellan is expected to be included in the Westmeath team despite missing the Offaly game due to a month-long AFL trial with St Kilda.
Kildare (SF v Westmeath) - M Donnellan; P Kelly, D Hyland, O Lyons; J Byrne, E Doyle, C O'Donoghue; T Moolick, F Conway; A Tyrrell, M O'Flaherty, E O'Flaherty; C McNally, N Kelly, N Flynn.