Friday 19 January 2018

Leitrim and Roscommon unchanged for semi-final showdown

Donnchadh Boyle

Donnchadh Boyle

BOTH Leitrim and Roscommon have named unchanged sides for their eagerly-awaited Connacht SFC semi-final clash in Carrick-on-Shannon on Sunday.

Leitrim had seven championship debutants in their starting side when they caused the shock of the summer to date by beating Sligo in Markievicz Park, and Mickey Moran has kept faith with the same players for the visit of the Connacht champions.

Roscommon manager Fergal O'Donnell has also stuck with the same side that beat New York at Gaelic Park six weeks ago.

Donal Ward, Niall Carty and Senan O'Grady all made their championship debuts that day and will all retain their places in the starting side. There are just eight survivors from the Rossies team that beat Leitrim at the same stage last year.

Meanwhile, Carlow have named five championship debutants for their clash with Louth.


Goalkeeper Trevor O'Reilly, defenders Aidan Murphy, Conor Lawlor and Kieran Nolan as well as half-forward Ed Finnegan will all make their bows for the Barrowsiders, who are captained by Tinryland's Shane Redmond.

Carlow manager Luke Dempsey has a concern over former AFL player Brendan Murphy, who has been named to start at midfield despite picking up an ankle injury recently.

"We're hopeful that Brendan will be able to play against Louth, but we still need to have a look at him at training on Thursday night to make sure he's okay," said Dempsey.

"Obviously it will be very disappointing if Brendan is unable to start the game, but at the same time he's only a cog in the wheel of the overall team structure."

Elsewhere, Mick Fanning has been cleared to play for Louth this weekend after returning from his travels to Boston and Australia, but travel partner John O'Brien has yet to be given clearance by Croke Park.

Roscommon (Connacht SFC v Leitrim): G Claffey; S McDermott, P Domican, N Carty; I Kilbride, D Keenan, D Ward; M Finneran, K Mannion; S O'Grady, K Higgins, C Cregg; C Devaney, S Kilbride, D Shine.

Leitrim (Connacht SFC v Roscommon): C McCrann; D Reynolds, R Gallagher, P Maguire; B Prior, G Reynolds, W McKeon; T Beirne, D Lowe; P Brennan, E Mulligan, R Lowe; A Croal, C Beirne, J Glancy.

Carlow (Leinster SFC v Louth): T O'Reilly; A Murphy, C Lawlor, B Kavanagh; P Cashin, S Redmond, K Nolan; Brendan Murphy, D Foley; P Hickey, T Walsh, E Finnegan; Brian Murphy, S Gannon, D St Ledger.

Irish Independent

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