Monday 20 November 2017

Newton sticks with old reliables for Galway

Senan Kilbride: Scoring responsibility
Senan Kilbride: Scoring responsibility
Donnchadh Boyle

Donnchadh Boyle

ROSCOMMON manager Des Newton has named a familiar looking side for Roscommon's Connacht SFC clash with Galway on Sunday, with none of their beaten U-21 All-Ireland finalists involved.

Veterans Michael Finneran and Karol Mannion make up the midfield, while Senan Kilbride and Donie Shine will be expected to do the bulk of the scoring from the full-forward line as Roscommon go in search of their first championship win over the Tribesmen since 2001, when they went on to win the Connacht title. Goalkeeper Geoffrey Claffey skippers the side.

Laois boss Justin McNulty has named two members of the 2003 Leinster-winning side in his starting line-up for the showdown with Longford.

Veteran pair Ross Munnelly and Padraig Clancy start in the full-forward line, though there is no place for Padraig McMahon, who recently returned to the panel.

Galway captain Finian Hanley is confident that Michael Meehan will be back terrorising defences this summer. Meehan, who has not played a competitive game for the Tribesmen since last year's qualifier exit to Meath, is named among the subs for the Roscommon game.

Meehan, who is battling back from an ankle injury that has threatened his career, is likely to make an appearance at some stage on Sunday. "You want your go-to man on the big days in the summer, and hopefully this summer and, if not, next summer, Mikey will be back to full strength and back to his best," said Hanley.

Hanley, who will have debutants Kieran McGrath and Keith Kelly either side of him in the full-back line at Hyde Park on Sunday, said that Meehan is a handful for any defender.

"He is a top-quality forward and any defender in the country would fear marking him," he said. "If he is involved with us as a player, the confidence it gives us is brilliant, so hopefully we can get him back as soon as possible."

Laois (SF v Longford) -- D Culliton; C Healy, K Lillis, P O'Leary; D Strong, S Julian, C Boyle; J O'Loughlin, B Quigley; K Meaney, B Sheehan, C Begley; R Munnelly, P Clancy, G Walsh.

Roscommon (SF v Galway) -- G Claffey; S McDermott, N Carty, S Purcell; C Dineen, P Domican, I Kilbride; M Finneran, K Mannion; D Keenan, C Cregg, J Rogers; S Kilbride, D McDermott, D Shine.

Irish Independent

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