Wednesday 21 February 2018

O'Rourke junior gets the call-up for Meath senior start

Cliona Foley

Cliona Foley

ONE famous Meath surname has replaced another in their starting line-up for Saturday's All-Ireland Qualifier against Down in Newry.

Shane O'Rourke, son of legendary Royal Colm, will make his first Championship start at full-forward in a first 15 from which Graham Geraghty's name is conspicuously absent. Geraghty has been cut from the squad after being involved in a training ground bust-up and the Royals' full-forward line has also been hit with the loss of Joe Sheridan. Seamus Kenny has recovered from a hamstring problem to reclaim his wing-back spot from Stephen MacGabhann and John Donegan (Rathkenny) also gets a Championship start.

Donegan's brother David, Graham Reilly and Jamie Queeney were recent additions to the panel but had been drafted in before last weekend's controversy.

Elsewhere, the absences of Seánie Johnstone, Paul Brady and Martin Cahill and the suspension of Michael Lyng have forced Cavan boss Donal Keoghan to make widespread changes for their difficult away Qualifier against Mayo.

He has switched Anthony Forde from centre-back to centre-forward, brought Dermot Sheridan and Keith Fannin to the full-back line and brought in Martin Reilly at wing-back. Nicholas Walsh lines out at midfield and former U17 International Rules star Raymond Cullivan starts at wing forward.

As expected, Ciarán McDonald's hamstring woes have kept him out of Mayo's starting 15, in which John O'Mahony has sprung a number of surprises. The experienced Trevor Mortimer is back in the side, but at left half-back, while David Kilcullen is handed the centre-back role and Pierse Hanley makes his debut. Sligo have made two changes to their attack for Sunday's Connacht SFC Final, with Brendan Egan and John McPartland replacing Philip Gallagher and Adrian Marren.

Meanwhile, young defender Kevin Moran has got a dramatic call-up to the Waterford team for Sunday's Munster SHC final. James Murray makes way for the De La Salle man, named at full-back but expected to play in the half-back line.


MEATH (SF v Down) - B Murphy; E Harrington, D Fay, N McKeigue; S Kenny, A Moyles, C King; M Ward, N Crawford; J Donegan, K Reilly, P Byrne; S Bray, S O'Rourke, B Farrell.

CAVAN (SF v Mayo) - J Reilly; M Hannon, D Sheridan, K Fannin; R Flanagan, J Crowe, M Reilly; D McCabe, N Walsh; R Cullivan, A Forde, M McKeever; J O'Reilly, S Brady, G Pearson.

MAYO (SF) - D Clarke; A Higgins, L O'Malley, T Howley; P Gardiner, D Kilcullen, T Mortimer; D Heaney, D Brady; BJ Padden, P Hanley, A Dillon; C Mortimer, B Moran, A Moran.

LOUTH (SF v Limerick) - S Reynolds; A Page, C Goss, M Fanning; J Neary, P McGinnity, J O'Brien; P Keenan, M Farrelly; B White, A Hoey, M Stanfield; C Judge, S Lennon, D Clarke.

WATERFORD (SH v Limerick) - C Hennessy; A Kearney, K Moran, E Murphy; T Browne, D Prendergast, K McGrath; M Walsh, S Molumphy; S Prendergast, D Shanahan, P Flynn; J Mullane, E Kelly, J Kennedy.

WATERFORD (SF v Carlow) - T Wall; J Walsh, T O'Gorman, S Briggs; E Rockett, E Walsh, P Ogle; M Ahearne, J Hurney; B Wall, L Lawlor, L Lionain; G Power, G Hurney, C Power.

SLIGO (SF v Galway) - P Greene; C Harrison, N McGuire, R Donovan; P McGovern, M McNamara, J Davey; E O'Hara, K Quinn; B Curran, B Egan, S Davey; D Kelly, M Breheny, J McPartland.

GALWAY (SF) - P Doherty; K Fitzgerald, F Hanley, D Burke; M Comer, D Blake, D Meehan; J Bergin, N Coleman; D Savage, J Fallon, N Joyce; M Meehan, P Joyce, C Bane.

FERMANAGH (SF v Wexford) - C Breen; S Goan, B Owens, N Bogue; S Lyons, S McDermott, T McElroy; L McBarron, M Murphy; M Little, T Brewster, E Maguire; C McElroy, C O'Reilly, R Keenan.

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