Sunday 11 December 2016

Shanahan starts for Déise as Donoghue rings changes

Michael Verney

Published 04/06/2016 | 02:30

All-Star Maurice Shanahan and Colin Dunford get the nod to start against Clare. Picture credit: Ramsey Cardy / SPORTSFILE
All-Star Maurice Shanahan and Colin Dunford get the nod to start against Clare. Picture credit: Ramsey Cardy / SPORTSFILE

Derek McGrath has made two changes in the Waterford attack for their Munster showdown with Clare tomorrow as All-Star Maurice Shanahan and Colin Dunford get the nod to start.

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Shanahan's return is a huge boost to the Déise after the towering forward, who could only play the role of impact substitute in their League final defeat to Clare, overcame injury and will lead the charge.

Tom Devine and Jake Dillon must settle for a place on the bench but both are likely to still have a huge role to play when the game opens up in the closing minutes as they bid to avenge their one-point reversal to the Banner.

Meanwhile, Galway boss Micheál Donoghue has rung the changes for their championship opener with Westmeath as he totally re-jigs his defence.

Their league campaign ended disappointingly nine weeks ago when suffering relegation to Division 1B, after a three-point loss to Cork, and All-Star goalkeeper Colm Callanan returns while full-back John Hanbury is the only defender keeping his spot where he is flanked by Johnny Coen and Fergal Moore.

Padraig Mannion, Daithí Burke and Aidan Harte make up a new half-back line while David Burke will captain the side from midfield.

Shane Maloney, who scored the late winner in their epic All-Ireland semi-final victory over Tipperary last year, will make his full Championship debut as he comes into the half-forward line alongside Joseph Cooney and Tribe ace Joe Canning.

Elsewhere, Jamie Clarke has defended under-fire Armagh boss Kieran McGeeney, insisting that his decision to opt out of the Orchard County set-up in 2016 has "absolutely nothing" to do with the 2002 All-Ireland-winning captain.

Irish Independent

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