Saturday 25 November 2017

Fitzmaurice gives Cooper the nod with Sheehan held in reserve

Kerry manager Eamonn Fitzmaurice Picture: Sportsfile
Kerry manager Eamonn Fitzmaurice Picture: Sportsfile

Michael Verney

There could be much change before the throw-in of tomorrow's All-Ireland SFC semi-final but Eamonn Fitzmaurice's team selection sees Colm Cooper lead the Kerry attack, while captain Bryan Sheehan must settle for a place on the bench against reigning champions Dublin.

Cooper, who missed the quarter-final win over Clare with a shoulder injury, is named at centre-forward in place of Darran O'Sullivan, which would be a surprise as O'Sullivan's pace is viewed by many as the best weapon to occupy Dublin linchpin Cian O'Sullivan.

Sheehan's long-range free-taking is also seen as an important asset if the Kingdom are to dethrone the Dubs after David Moran was off-colour from placed balls against Clare.


All in all, there are six changes from last year's final defeat to the Dubs with Brendan Kealy, Fionn Fitzgerald, Aidan O'Mahony, Jonathan Lyne, Anthony Maher and Johnny Buckley all missing out as Brian Kelly, Mark Griffin, Brian Ó Beaglaoich, Tadhg Morley, Kieran Donaghy and Paul Murphy come in.

Elsewhere, there were remarkable scenes during Wicklow's Junior 'A' Hurling final in Arklow last Saturday when armed gardaí were called after a spectator allegedly used racial abuse towards members of the travelling community playing with St Patrick's.

The ill-tempered game between the Wicklow town club and Kiltegan ended level, but it was marred by the disturbing allegations of racial abuse, as well as threats of physical violence, as St Patrick's finished with just 13 players.

A call was made to Arklow Garda Station but the armed gardaí were first to respond as they were in the area. No arrests were made, however, and the matter is now being dealt with by the Wicklow CCC.

It is the latest in a long line of GAA controversies within the Garden County and it's hoped tomorrow's replay in Aughrim (12.45) will be without incident.

KERRY (SF v Dublin) - B Kelly; S Enright, M Griffin, K Young; B Ó Beaglaoich, P Crowley, T Morley, K Donaghy, D Moran; P Murphy, C Cooper, D Walsh; S O'Brien, P Geaney, J O'Donoghue.

KERRY (MF v Kildare) - B Courtney; D Naughton, N Collins, G O'Sullivan; M Potts, D O'Brien, M Foley; M Breen, M Ryan; D Moynihan, S O'Shea, D O'Connor; D Clifford, D Shaw, B Friel.

Irish Independent

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