Saturday 17 August 2019

Connacht rivals to experiment for opening ties against Exiles

Galway manager Kevin Walsh. Photo: Sam Barnes/Sportsfile
Galway manager Kevin Walsh. Photo: Sam Barnes/Sportsfile
Donnchadh Boyle

Donnchadh Boyle

Both Connacht heavyweights Mayo and Galway have opted to experiment as they start their campaigns this weekend.

Tribes manager Kevin Walsh has handed out three debuts for Sunday's Connacht SFC clash against London in McGovern Park.

John Daly, Antoine ó Laoi and Pádraic Cunningham will all make their senior championship bows for Walsh's men against the Exiles as they look to retain their provincial title.

Daly joins his brother Michael in the starting team while former Galway United player Cunningham will make his first start after coming on as a substitute against Monaghan in the 'Super 8s' last year.

All-Ireland club champions Corofin provide two starters in Liam Silke and All-Star-winning forward Ian Burke.

Just seven players - Ruairi Lavelle, Eoghan Kerin, Seán Andy Ó Ceallaigh, Thomas Flynn, Johnny Heaney, Shane Walsh and Burke - survive from the side that lost out to Dublin in the All-Ireland semi-final last year.

Mayo boss James Horan has also handed out three debuts as they take on New York in Gaelic Park in the Bronx on Sunday (throw-in 7.15 Irish time).

James McCormack, Matthew Ruane and James Carr all make their first starts for the Westerners with Horan making two changes from the side that secured Division 1 honours. Injured captain Diarmuid O'Connor misses out as does Donal Vaughan with Patrick Durcan set to lead the side for the clash with Justin O'Halloran's side.

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Galway (SF v London) - R Lavelle; E Kerin, SA ó Ceallaigh, D Wynne; L Silke, J Daly, G O'Donnell; T Flynn, M Daly; A ó Laoi, P Cunningham, J Heaney; I Burke, S Walsh, D Cummins.

Mayo (SF v New York) - R Hennelly; C Barrett, B Harrison, K Higgins; P Durcan, L Keegan, J McCormack; M Ruane, A O'Shea; E Regan, J Doherty, F Boland; K McLoughlin, D Coen, J Carr.

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