Tuesday 21 November 2017

Galway blow as Coleman hit by 'freak' injury

Galway footballers will be without one of their most versatile and experienced players for their Saturday qualifier clash with Antrim, with Niall Coleman ruled out by a "freak" injury.

The Annaghdown clubman, who can play half-back, midfield or half-forward, misses the trip to Casement Park after incurring a knee injury.

Manager Alan Mulholland said that Coleman, who dropped out of the squad last season due to work commitments, was particularly unfortunate to pick up the injury in training.

"Niall's injury was a complete freak. He fell on Fiontain O Curraoin's studs and chipped his knee. Some debris from the kneecap has worked its way into the knee and he'll be out for some time," said Mulholland.

But the loss of Coleman has been cushioned with the return to fitness of O Curraoin and Conor Doherty.

The team that Galway beat in the first round of the Connacht SFC, Roscommon, have received a shot in the arm as they bid for another giant-killing act in Saturday's qualifier clash with Tyrone.

Donie Shine and Cathal Cregg, both of whom picked up injuries in the shock 1-11 to 1-9 win over Armagh, have recovered and will start against Mickey Harte's men at Hyde Park.

And inspirational midfielder Michael Finneran, who was unable to start against Armagh, has fully recovered after coming on as a sub in that game and will line out against Tyrone.

However, manager Des Newton will have to plan without the talents of defender Cathal Dineen for a second game in a row.

"Cathal is still really struggling with an ankle injury and he still hasn't trained on it. He has to be rated extremely doubtful to be in the shake-up to face Tyrone," said Newton.

"All the other players have recovered well from the Armagh match. Michael Finneran got a good 25 minutes the last day too which is going to leave him in a lot better shape."

Irish Independent

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