Rodgers on the bench as unchanged Down play it safe
DOWN will not risk starting cruciate victim and team captain Ambrose Rodgers in tomorrow’s All-Ireland SFC final, though he has noticeably been named among their substitutes.
Peter Fitzpatrick, who filled the midfield vacancy left by Rodgers for their semi-final against Kildare, again starts in midfield in an unchanged team to take on Cork. The Mournemen make one positional switch – captain Benny Coulter is moved to the half-forward line in a straight swop with Paul McComiskey – but, like Cork, there are likely to be further switches before throw-in.
This is the first football final meeting between the counties and they have only clashed in one previous championship encounter, when Down won the 1994 All-Ireland semi-final.
That was the year that the Mournes won the last of their five titles and James McCartan’s men are hoping to maintain the county’s remarkable record of winning every senior final they have contested.
In contrast Cork, who last won in 1990, are hoping not to lose a fifth final since 1993 and their third in the last four years.
DOWN (SF v Cork) – B McVeigh; D McCartan, D Gordon, D Rafferty; D Rooney, K McKernan, C Garvey; P Fitzpatrick, K King; D Hughes, M Poland, B Coulter; P McComiskey, J Clarke, M Clarke.