Thursday 21 March 2019

Tribesmen relief as Canning gets green light to face Dubs

Roscommon boss John Evans with his Philips Manager of the Month award for April
Roscommon boss John Evans with his Philips Manager of the Month award for April
Donnchadh Boyle

Donnchadh Boyle

Galway have been handed a massive boost, with manager Anthony Cunningham confirming that Joe Canning will be fit to face Dublin in their Leinster Championship opener in Croke Park on Sunday fortnight.

Concerns had been raised after the Portumna ace picked up a hand injury during a recent challenge match and he was thought to be a doubt for the quarter-final clash on May 31.

Canning suffered the injury after Galway played Clare twice in a number of days but Cunningham is confident he will be fit to play a full part.

"It was a nasty cut but it is healing very well and he will be available for the Dublin match," said Cunningham.

News of Canning's speedy recovery is a welcome lift as Galway picked up a number of injuries in recent weeks.

David Burke is doubtful for the Dublin game with a hand injury picked up playing for St Thomas', while his clubmate Conor Cooney will be out until July with a recurrence of a foot injury.

There was mixed news for Tyrone as captain Sean Cavanagh was passed fit to start Sunday's clash with Donegal in Ballybofey, but Niall Morgan misses out.

Padraig McNulty makes his debut while manager Mickey Harte has added fuel to expectations of a defensive dogfight by naming three recognised defenders in his half-forward line - Tiernan McCann, Mattie Donnelly and Barry Tierney.

Elsewhere, the Galway footballers have brought in Brian O'Donoghue to replace Tom Healy in goal, while Micheal Lundy comes in for Eddie Hoare. Lundy was superb as Corofin swept to the All-Ireland club title and he joins a potent forward line that includes Shane Walsh and Damien Comer.

Leitrim have named five championship newcomers for the game: Matthew Murphy, Niall Woods, Thomas Mulvey, Ronan Kennedy and James McGrail all make their Connacht bows for Shane Ward's side.

Westmeath also look experimental as they look to bounce back from a second successive relegation in their Leinster Championship opener against Louth.

Denis Glennon misses out through injury, but corner-back Killian Daly, wing-back Paddy Holloway, wing-forward John Stapleton and Shane Dempsey make their first appearances in the championship.

Louth have also named their team, with Conor Grimes and Ryan Burns once against partnered together in the full-forward line.

Offaly have stuck with the same starting side that hammered Longford in the Division 4 decider for the repeat fixture against their midland rivals.

Tyrone (SF v Donegal) - M O'Neill, A McCrory, R McNamee, C McCarron, R McNabb, Justin McMahon, P Harte, C Cavanagh, P McNulty, T McCann, M Donnelly, B Tierney, D McCurry, S Cavanagh, C McAliskey.

Westmeath (SF v Louth) - D Quinn; J Gilligan, K Maguire, K Daly; P Holloway, K Martin, J Dolan; D Daly, G Egan; P Sharry, R Connellan, J Stapleton; C McCormack, J Heslin, S Dempsey.

Louth - N Gallagher; A Williams, P Reilly, P Rath; D Byrne, D O'Hanlon, A Reid; B Duffy, T Durnin; D Maguire, C Judge, J Stewart; R Burns, C Grimes, P Smith.

Offaly (SF v Longford) - A Mulhall; B Darby, P McConway, D Brady; N Darby, J Moloney, J O'Connor; G Guilfoyle, N Smith; E Carroll, N McNamee, A Sullivan; B Allen, N Dunne, W Mulhall.

Galway (SF v Leitrim) - B O'Donoghue; J Duane, F Hanley, C Sweeney; L Silke, G O'Donnell, S Denvir; F O Curraoin, P Conroy; G Sice, S Walsh, M Lundy; P O Griofa, D Comer, D Cummins.

Leitrim - C McCrann; M Murphy, R Gallagher, N Woods; S McWeeney, G Reynolds, T Mulvey; D Sweeney, S Moran; D Beck, D Wrynn, K Conlan; R Kennedy, J McGrail, F Clancy.

Irish Independent

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