Saturday 17 March 2018

Harte hands Tyrone duo debuts for league opener

Cliona Foley

Cliona Foley

MICKEY Harte has handed debuts to two of his talented young recruits for tomorrow's big National Football League opener against Derry in Celtic Park.

Returned Aussie Rules recruit Kyle Coney starts in the half- forward line while Ronan McNabb, another of their All-Ireland winning minors of 2008, gets a spot at wing-back.

Justin McMahon has been named at full-back despite suffering a bout of mild concussion last week and Colm Cavanagh will make his first appearance of the year after undergoing surgery during the winter.

Johnny Curran, who had an impressive Dr McKenna Cup campaign, keeps his place in goal ahead of experienced pair John Devine and Pascal McConnell.

Opponents Derry have two full debutants themselves in Andrew McCartney and Charlie Kielt, the latter an older brother of James who plays alongside him already for Queen's University.

Mayo feature just one senior debutant -- Enda Varley -- in their starting line-up for their big all-Connacht derby opener against Galway. However, one other notable inclusion is Seamus O'Shea, the older brother of full-forward Aidan who is back after missing out last year with injury.

Pat Naughter gets a call-up for Wexford's footballers who open their Division 3 campaign against Louth in Drogheda.

Anthony Masterson returns after missing out the O'Byrne Cup and the in-form Ben Brosnan starts in the forwards, with Daithi Waters and Brendan Doyle starting in midfield.

Wexford's hurlers have two changes for their Walsh Cup semi-final against Dublin. Eoin Doyle (Shelmaliers) comes in at corner- back while Malachy Travers replaces Tomás Mahon in midfield.

Meanwhile, Leitrim's footballers have been hit with the news that experienced targetman Declan Maxwell looks likely to miss most of their Division 4 campaign with an ankle ligament injury.

A recent scan has confirmed that Maxwell will need surgery and may be battling to make it back in time for their championship opener in June.

Irish Independent

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