Monday 18 December 2017

Kavanagh and Gallagher boost Donegal

Rory Kavanagh missed Donegal's game against Derry due to suspension, but returns to face Antrim tomorrow. Photo: Stephen McCarthy / SPORTSFILE
Rory Kavanagh missed Donegal's game against Derry due to suspension, but returns to face Antrim tomorrow. Photo: Stephen McCarthy / SPORTSFILE
Cliona Foley

Cliona Foley

Rory Kavanagh and Neil Gallagher have returned in time to strengthen Donegal's hand for their Ulster SFC semi-final against Antrim tomorrow.

Kavanagh missed the Derry game due to suspension after getting sent off in the league final, while Gallagher is back from injury to join him in midfield, with Odhran Mac Niallais and Darach O'Connor the two to lose out.

Tipperary's footballers, having won their first championship game in 11 years, have made one change to their starters for tonight's Munster SFC semi-final against Cork. John Coghlan replaces Ger Mulhair at right corner-back as Peter Creedon's team seek their first championship victory over the Rebels in 70 years.

Laois and Longford have both made two changes for the first-round qualifier games today.

Denis Booth is back from suspension and starts at full-back, while Niall Donoher comes in at wing-back, with Stephen Attride and Kevin Meaney losing out.

Kevin Diffley and Aidan Rowan come into Longford' starters in place of Shane Doyle and Niall Mulligan as they travel to Celtic Park to face Derry for the fourth time in the qualifiers' history.

The first round of the hurling qualifiers draw, which involves the eight teams who were beaten in the Munster and Leinster quarter-finals and semi-finals, will take place on RTE radio's 'Morning Ireland' on Monday.

The initial phase will see either Laois or Antrim (from Leinster's qualifying group) drawn against one of the remaining beaten Leinster teams – Offaly, Wexford and the losers of Kilkenny/Galway.

The remaining team from the qualifier group (Laois or Antrim) will then be drawn against a Munster team (either Tipperary, Clare or Waterford).

The final two fixtures will pit the remaining two Leinster teams against the Munster pair.

The draw is subject to avoiding 'repeat pairings' so that means Laois cannot play Galway or Antrim again and the Glensmen cannot face Wexford either.

Donegal (SF v Antrim): P Durcan; E McGee, N McGee, P McGrath; F McGlynn, K Lacey, A Thompson; N Gallagher, R Kavanagh; C Toye, L McLoone, R McHugh; P McBrearty, M Murphy, C McFadden.

Tipperary (SF v Cork): P Fitzgerald; J Coghlan, P Codd, C McDonald; C O'Riordan, R Kiely, P Acheson; S O'Brien, G Hannigan; P Austin, I Fahey, B Fox; C Sweeney, M Quinlivan, B Grogan.

Longford (SF v Derry): D Sheridan; D Brady, B Gilleran, F Battrim; C Smith, E Williams, S Mulligan; J Keegan, K Diffley; M Quinn, F McGee, P Barden; A Rowan, B Kavanagh, S McCormack.

Laois (SF v Fermanagh): G Brody; P McMahon, D Booth, P O'Leary; D Strong, P Begley, C Begley; C Meredith, J O'Loughlin, J Finn, B Sheehan, N Donoher; R Munnelly, D Kingston, D Conway.

Irish Independent

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