Monday 18 December 2017

Armstrong returns for Mayo showdown

Galway's Sean Armstrong. Photo: Ramsey Cardy/Sportsfile
Galway's Sean Armstrong. Photo: Ramsey Cardy/Sportsfile

Michael Verney

Sean Armstrong will make his first championship appearance for Galway in three years when the Tribesmen face Mayo in tomorrow's eagerly-anticipated Connacht SFC semi-final.

The Salthill-Knocknacarra attacker lines out alongside U-21 star Michael Daly, handed a first championship start, and the returning Damien Comer in the full-forward line as Kevin Walsh makes three changes from their Division 2 league final defeat of Kildare.

Michael Farragher loses out to the experienced Gareth Bradshaw while Eamonn Brannigan and Gary Sice also depart to form a potentially explosive bench alongside Michael Meehan, Ian Burke and Michael Lundy.

Elsewhere, Offaly have been boosted by the inclusion of veteran attacker Niall McNamee for the visit of neighbours Westmeath to the newly-named Bord na Móna O'Connor Park tomorrow.

The future of McNamee was in doubt after missing their Division 3 league campaign but having returned to the fold in recent weeks, Faithful boss Pat Flanagan has opted to parachute him back into the side. Having made his debut as a Leaving Certificate student in 2003, the Rhode attacker embarks on his 15th championship season and is joined in the side by club-mate Eoin Rigney, who starts at full-back following a swift return from a shoulder injury.

Opponents Westmeath make two changes from their Division 4 league final win over Wexford with Paddy Holloway coming in for David Lynch while Shane Dempsey replaces Tommy McDaniels.

Elsewhere, Cork bid to turn the tables on Tipperary this evening in their Munster semi-final following last year's shock defeat to the Premier but the Rebels must do so without suspended midfielder Alan O'Connor and the injured duo of Aidan Walsh and Eoin Cadogan.

Peadar Healy makes one change with Colm O'Driscoll replacing Walsh, while Donncha O'Connor, who impressed off the bench against Waterford, is kept in reserve again. Teams in Factfile, P14

Irish Independent

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