Monday 11 December 2017

Conlon in frame for shock Blues call-up

Cliona Foley

Cliona Foley

Paul Conlon could be Pat Gilroy's wild card when the Dublin boss names his team for the Leinster SFC against Kildare today.

Philly McMahon's absence with a medial knee ligament injury means an enforced change in the Dubs' full-back line and while Paul Brogan is the front-runner for the position, Conlon is now being tipped to get a surprise call-up.

He was one of the stars of St Vincent's 2008 All-Ireland club victory and played for Dublin in the 2010 Allianz League, but he did not feature in last summer's championship side and a recurring groin injury has meant he has yet to play for Dublin this year.

Eoghan O'Gara has also made a late run for inclusion after doing well off the bench against Laois, but if he is introduced at full-forward, it will mean breaking up the in-form front line of the Brogan brothers and Diarmuid Connolly. However, he could be accommodated if Alan Brogan was moved out to the '40'.

Louth football boss Peter Fitzpatrick has made just one change to the side who lost to Carlow ahead of tomorrow's big re-match with arch-rivals Meath in the Qualifiers.

He has moved Liam Shevlin to centre-back in place of Mick Fanning who was just back from abroad for the Carlow game, and brought his son Stephen in on the wing in a reshuffled half-back line.

Joe McMahon returns for Tyrone's Ulster semi-final against Donegal in his first appearance since suffering a broken jaw in a club game two months ago.

The Omagh star replaces Cathal McCarron at full-back and the defending two-in-a-row champions have one other change, with Kevin Hughes replacing the injured Aidan Cassidy in midfield.

Galway boss Tomas O Flatharta has handed out four championship debuts for Sunday's Connacht semi-final against Mayo and, apart from Greg Higgins, the other three -- Colin Forde, Johnny Duane and Mark Hehir -- were all on their All-Ireland winning U-21s this year.


Sligo have had to radically reshuffle their team for their qualifier against Wicklow, yet despite reports that he is fully fit, Johnny Davey has not been named to start.

Brendan Egan, Brian Kennedy and Noel Maguire come in to replace Francis Quinn and the suspended Brian Curran and Alan Costello. Tony Taylor is now at full-forward.

Carlow have named an unchanged side for the other semi-final, including teenage full-back Conor Lawlor who was their only injury doubt.

Opponents Wexford, bidding to reach their second Leinster final in four years, have also named an unchanged team from that which beat Westmeath.

An injury picked up in training mid-week means Down will be without All Star attacker Danny Hughes for their trip to Ennis.

Diarmuid Masterson replaces Paddy Dowd (who retired after the Laois game) at centre-forward in Longford's only change for their first championship meeting against neighbours Cavan.

Westmeath feature four changes and multiple switches for their qualifier against Antrim.

U-21s James Dolan and John Heslin are promoted to the starters, along with Micheal Curley and fit-again midfielder David Duffy, who is back after a long injury lay-off, with Francis Boyle (injured), Paul Sharry, David Glennon and dual star Paul Greville losing out.

Aidan Finnan has been moved to full-back allowing Curley to come in at corner-back.

Denis Corroon moves from midfield to right half-back, with James Dolan coming in on the left flank, while Ger Egan and Doran Harte switch to a completely new half-forward line that also features Heslin.

Antrim look likely to be boosted by the availability of goalkeeper Sean O'Neill.

He's due to face Fulham in a Europa League game with Irish League side Crusaders next month, but the soccer club say they'll release him if he wants to play tomorrow night.

Niall McGovern replaces the injured Barry Mulrone at centre half-back on the Fermanagh team to play London in the qualifiers at Ruislip.

Richard O'Callaghan will partner Ryan Jones in midfield instead of Kevin Cosgrove, who moves to wing back in place Hugh Brady.

In the forwards John O'Flanaghan replaces his brother Terry and Niall Cassidy replaces Paul Ward.

CARLOW (SF v Wexford) -- T O'Reilly; A Murphy, C Lawlor, B Kavanagh; P Cashin, S Redmond, K Nolan; B Murphy, D Foley; P Hickey, T Walsh, E Finnegan; B Murphy, S Gannon, D St Ledger.

WEXFORD (SF) -- A Masterson; J Wadding, G Molloy, B Malone; A Flynn, D Murphy, A Doyle; R Quinlivan, D Waters; S Roche, C Lyng, B Brosnan; C Morris, E Bradley, R Barry.

LONGFORD (SF v Cavan ) -- D Sheridan; D Brady, B Gilleran, D Reilly; S Mulligan, K Diffley, N Farrell; B McElvanney, M Brady; D Barden, D Masterson, P Barden; D McElligott, B Kavanagh, S McCormack.

WESTMEATH (SF v Antrim) -- G Connaughton; M Curley, A Finnan, K Gavin; D Corroon, K Martin, J Dolan; D Duffy, D Daly; G Egan, J Heslin, D Harte; C Lynam, D Glennon, D Dolan.

TYRONE (SF v Donegal) -- P McConnell, M Swift, J McMahon, R McMenamin, D Harte, C Gormley, P Jordan, K Hughes, S Cavanagh, B Dooher, B McGuigan, P Harte, M Penrose, M Donnelly, S O'Neill.

GALWAY (SF v Mayo) -- A Faherty; A Burke, C Forde, J Duane; G O'Donnell, G Higgins, G Sice; J Bergin, F Hanley; O Concannon, M Hehir, G Bradshaw; P Joyce, P Conroy, C Bane.

SLIGO (SF v Wicklow) --P Greene; C Harrison, N Maguire, R Donovan; P McGovern, B Kennedy, N Ewing; E O'Hara, S Gilmartin; B Egan, M Breheny, D Rooney; S Coen, T Taylor, A Marren.

FERMANAGH (SF v London) -- J McGrath; J Woods, B Owens, M Jones; M O'Brien, N McGovern, K Cosgrove; R Jones, R O'Callaghan; J O'Flanaghan, N Cassidy, B Og Maguire; S Quigley, D Kille, T Corrigan.

LOUTH (SF v Meath) - S Connor; D Byrne, A Hoey, D Finnegan; R Finnegan, L Shevlin, S Fitzpatrick; P Keenan, B Donnelly; D Crilly, D Reid, A Reid; D Maguire, S Lennon, JP Rooney.

Irish Independent

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