Kerry name strong team to face Galway as Jack O’Connor targets league final place

Kerry manager Jack O'Connor. Image: Sportsfile.

Michael Verney

All-Ireland SFC champions Kerry have gone with a strong line-up as Jack O'Connor bids to book their place in the Division 1 FL final.

Kerry (6 points) need a victory over Galway (8 points), in a repeat of last year's All-Ireland final, if they are to be in the hunt for a final spot against Mayo.

Captain David Clifford leads their attack once again in a side which shows 12 of the starters from their round six victory over Roscommon last weekend.

All-Star goalkeeper Shane Ryan, corner-back Graham O'Sullivan and attacker Dara Moynihan drop to the bench with Shane Murphy, Dylan Casey and Ruairí Murphy getting their chance to impress against Pádraic Joyce's Tribesmen in Pearse Stadium on Sunday (1.45).

Meanwhile, Damien Comer could return for Galway after the All-Star attacker was named on the bench for the Kingdom clash.

Comer has not featured for Pádraic Joyce's Tribesmen since suffering a knee injury against Roscommon in early February, which resulted in him being stretchered off with fears about his availability for the rest of the season.

The Annaghdown powerhouse (29) has made a swift return, however, and could feature at some stage in what is a big fitness boost ahead of their Connacht SFC semi-final against Mayo/Roscommon in late April.

Mayo have also named their team, with boss Kevin McStay shuffling the deck significantly for their Division One clash with Monaghan as they bid to maintain their unbeaten streak having already booked their final place.

Rob Hennelly, Pádraig O'Hora, Michael Plunkett, Jason Doherty, Kevin McLoughlin, Frank Irwin and Conor McStay make their first League starts of the season in the Castlebar clash on Sunday (1.45).

Doherty is named to start at centre-back in a surprise move given most of his career has been spent in attack while there is still plenty of continuity with mainstays like Jordan Flynn, Aidan O'Shea and Ryan O'Donoghue starting up front.

KERRY (SF v Galway) - S Murphy; D Casey, J Foley, T O’Sullivan; P Murphy, T Morley, G White; J Barry, BD O’Sullivan; R Murphy, S O’Shea, P Clifford; T Brosnan, D Clifford, D O’Sullivan.

GALWAY (SF v Kerry) - B Power; J McGrath, S Kelly, S Fitzgerald; D McHugh, J Daly, C Hernon; P Conroy, J Maher; M Tierney, J Heaney, P Cooke; T Culhane, S Walsh, C Sweeney.

ROSCOMMON (SF v Donegal) - C Carroll; C Hussey, B Stack, D Murray; N Daly, E McCormack, T O'Rourke; D Ruane, K Doyle; C Murtagh, D Cregg, E Smith; D Murtagh, C Cox, B O'Carroll.

LAOIS (SH v Westmeath) - E Rowland; FC Fennell P Delaney, D Hartnett; R Mullaney, I Shanahan, P Lawlor; P Purcell, J Kelly; A Dunphy, S Maher, A Corby; M Phelan, J Keyes, S Bergin.

KERRY (SH v Offaly) - JB O'Halloran; C Trant, E Leen, E Ross; E Murphy, M Boyle, P O'Connor; D Collins, G Dooley; K O'Connor, F Mackessy, M Leane; S Conway, D Griffin, P Boyle.