Tuesday 23 January 2018

Lilywhites can call on Earley for Antrim tie

Donnchadh Boyle

Donnchadh Boyle

THE All-Ireland SFC qualifier between Kildare and Antrim will go ahead as scheduled tomorrow night in Newbridge -- and Dermot Earley Jnr will be available to line out for the Lilywhites.

There had been speculation that the game would be postponed due to the burial of Earley's father, Dermot Snr, earlier in the day but the family made it known that they would not want any disruption to be caused to fixtures.

"It's the sign of a true GAA family that they were thinking of the games rather than themselves at such a terrible time," said Kildare selector Niall Carew.

Kildare will definitely have to plan without is key forward Alan Smith, who damaged ankle ligaments in training on Tuesday night.

Anthony Rainbow has also been ruled out with an ankle injury, while Keith Cribbin has knee ligament damage. However, Padraig O'Neill should keep his place in the attack.

Westmeath boss Pat Flanagan has named Des Dolan at full-forward in his team to face Louth in Croke Park on Sunday.

Dolan fills in on the edge of the square for Martin Flanagan who misses out through injury. The Lake County also hand first championship starts to Kevin Maguire at corner-back and Ger Egan at wing-forward. Derek Heavin gets the nod on the other wing after his return to the panel but double All Star defender John Keane is held in reserve. Alan Gaughan, John Smyth and John Gaffey make way.

Wexford have named an unchanged side from the team that rattled Dublin for their trip to Ruislip to face London. However, there are a couple of position switches with Redmond Barry moving to wing forward and Shane Roche now operating in the No 14 shirt.

Offaly start three sets of brothers -- the Bradys from Clara and the Sullivans and Darbys from Rhode and have made changes to every line of their team for their clash with Clare.

Talented Rhode attacker Anton Sullivan is installed at corner-forward alongside Niall McNamee and Ken Casey. Ciaran McManus is switched from midfield to half-forward with 19-year-old Brian Geraghty starting at centre field.


Sean Delargy will make his first start of the year for Antrim in Sunday's Ulster SHC final against Down at Casement Park. Aaron Graffin and Neal McAuley are in the US and won't feature, while Joey Scullion missed out with a broken finger.

Elsewhere, Colm McFadden will make his 100th appearance for Donegal tomorrow when they take on Armagh in Crossmaglen.

McFadden was omitted from the side that lost to Down in the Ulster championship, but looks set to reclaim his place when the team is named today as Dermot Molloy serves a suspension.

"Armagh have been a very good side over the last decade or so. The first year we got the better of them, in 2007, we had a wee bit of luck for the first time. They had a hoodoo over us for a long time, but hopefully we can get another one up on them at the weekend. I can't see there being much in it," he said.

Wexford (SF v London) -- A Masterson; J Wadding, G Molloy, B Malone; A Flynn, D Murphy, A Doyle; D Waters, E Bradley; C Morris, M Forde, R Barry; C Lyng, S Roche, PJ Banville.

Westmeath (SF v Louth) -- G Connaughton; F Boyle, D O'Donoghue, K Maguire; M Ennis, K Martin, D Harte; D Duffy, P Bannon; D Heavin, C Lynam, G Egan; P Greville, D Dolan, D Glennon.

Offaly (SF v Clare) -- A Mulhall; B Darby, S Brady, P Sullivan; N Darby, R Brady, K Slattery; B Geraghty, R Dalton; J Reynolds, B Connor, C McManus; A Sullivan, K Casey, N McNamee.

Clare (SF) -- J Hayes; M Tubridy, B Duggan, B Carrig; M McMahon, G Kelly, D Callinan; G Quinlan, G Brennan; M O'Shea, P O'Dwyer, A Clohessy; D Tubridy, D Russell, D Daly

Sligo (sf v Galway) -- P Greene; C Harrison, N McGuire, R Donovan; K Cawley, B Phillips, J Davey; T Taylor, S Gilmartin; A Costello, M Breheny, K Sweeney; C McGee, E O'Hara, D Kelly.

Antrim (SH v Down) -- C O'Connell; K McGourty, C Donnelly, S Delargy; P Shiels, J Campbell, C Herron; S McNaughton, K Stewart; C McFall, T McCann, L Watson; PJ O'Connell, N McManus, K McKeegan.

Irish Independent

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