Sport Gaelic Football

Tuesday 20 February 2018

Kerry confirm skipper Cooper to spearhead attack

Donnchadh Boyle

Donnchadh Boyle

KERRY captain Colm 'Gooch' Cooper have been shifted to full-forward as Jack O'Connor looks to revamp his attack for their trip to Mullingar to take on Westmeath.

The Kingdom managed just 12 points in their Munster SFC semi-final defeat to Cork, and Cooper is joined in the full-forward line by Legion's James O'Donoghue, who replaces Kieran O'Leary. Kieran Donaghy starts in the other corner.

Apart from O'Leary, there are three other changes from the side that lost to the Rebels. Fit-again Bryan Sheehan is restored to midfield at the expense of Seamus Scanlon, while Donnacha Walsh deputises for the injured Darran O'Sullivan at wing-forward.

Brian Maguire replaces Peter Crowley in an otherwise unaltered defence for the clash with the Lake county, which is the first meeting of the sides in the championship.

Sligo boss Kevin Walsh has made one change to his side for Sunday's Connacht SFC final against Mayo.

The Yeats men shocked Galway in the provincial semi-final and have gone for the experienced Tony Taylor in midfield in place of Eugene Mullen.

Elsewhere, Seanie Johnston has been left out of the Kildare team to face his native Cavan. Johnston, yet to make his debut for the Lilywhites following his controversial transfer, picked up a shoulder injury in training, but is making a quick recovery and could yet feature at Breffni Park on Sunday.

Daryl Flynn had the first of two yellow cards he picked up against Meath rescinded and he is partnered at midfield by Rob Kelly in one of two changes to the side that lost to the Royals. Andriu MacLochlainn also comes into the side, with Ollie Lyons and Padraig O'Neill missing out.

Billy Sheehan has been restored to the Laois side to take on Monaghan in O'Moore Park on Sunday.

The Kerry native was left out of the team that beat Carlow, but starts at centre-forward for the Farney clash.

Colm Begley is named at midfield alongside Brendan Quigley, while John O'Loughlin drops back to centre-back, with captain Kevin Meaney wearing the No 3 jersey in place of Kevin Lillis.

Cork have handed a championship debut to Damien Cahalane, son of Niall, for Saturday's hurling qualifier clash with Wexford. Cahalane's inclusion is one of four changes that Jimmy Barry-Murphy makes from the side that beat Offaly in the last round.

Dual star Eoin Cadogan is restored to the starting line-up at wing-back after opting to play for the footballers last weekend, while Niall McCarthy and Luke O'Farrell are also included from the start.

Wexford boss Liam Dunne has made three changes from the side that saw off Carlow for the Semple Stadium encounter.

Paul Roche, Stephen Banville and Jack Guiney all come into the side as Dunne makes a number of positional switches for the visit of the Rebels.

Eanna Martin, who hurls with the Sarsfields club in Cork, starts in goal for the Slaneysiders.

Kerry (SF v Westmeath) -- B Kealy; M O Se, A O'Mahony, K Young; T O Se, E Brosnan, B Maguire; A Maher, B Sheehan; P Galvin, Declan O'Sullivan, D Walsh; J O'Donoghue, C Cooper, K Donaghy.

Sligo (SF v Mayo) -- P Greene; N Ewing, J Martyn, R Donovan; C Harrison, M Quinn, P McGovern; S McManus, T Taylor; A Costello, P Hughes, B Egan; M Breheny, A Marren, D Kelly.

Kildare (SF v Cavan) -- S Connolly; A MacLochlainn, M Foley, P Kelly; E Bolton, M O'Flaherty, H McGrillen; D Flynn, R Kelly; E O'Flaherty, M Conway, A Smith; J Doyle (captain), T O'Connor, J Kavanagh.

Laois (SF v Monaghan) -- E Culliton; C Healy, K Meaney, J Kavanagh, D Strong, J O'Loughlin, C Boyle; B Quigley, C Begley; D O'Connor, B Sheehan, G Walsh; R Munnelly, P Clancy, C Kelly.

Cork (SH v Wexford) -- A Nash; S O'Neill, D Cahalane, B Murphy; T Kenny, C Joyce, E Cadogan; L McLoughlin, P Cronin; C Lehane, C McCarthy, N McCarthy; P O'Sullivan, L O'Farrell, P Horgan.

Wexford (SH) -- E Martin; P Roche, M O'Hanlon, K Rossiter; R Kehoe, C Kenny, D Stamp; D Redmond, D Lyng; J Guiney, G Sinnott, D O'Keeffe; P Morris, S Banville, R Jacob.

Irish Independent

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