Friday 24 November 2017

O'Neill back in Lilies squad for Dublin encounter

Daragh O Conchuir

Padraig O'Neill will make a return to the Kildare squad for the Leinster semi-final against Dublin, but Eoin Doyle is in a race against time if he is to avoid missing out once again.

The versatile O'Neill missed the quarter-final victory over Offaly because of bone bruising, but has returned to full training in the past fortnight and has proven himself fit enough to be available for selection.

The powerful St Laurence's man, who is in his ninth championship season, is one of the most industrious players in the Lilywhite squad, having switched from the full-forward line in his early days to a deep-lying, hard-running role.

This, allied with his ability to kick points from distance, could well see him return to the side on Sunday week.

Offaly found plenty of space inside the Kildare '45' in the quarter-final and manager Kieran McGeeney will be anxious that Dublin do not get the same opportunities.

Like O'Neill, Doyle was unavailable for the Offaly clash, having suffered an ankle injury in a challenge match against Galway.

The Naas defender, who broke into the team last year, had recovered from that injury setback, but has since strained his hamstring, so it is touch and go if he will make it to Croke Park in nine days' time.

Irish Independent

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