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Offaly duo look to stake claim

Brian Carroll and Brendan Murphy could both feature in Offaly's starting 15 for their hurling qualifier clash with Cork on Saturday.

Carroll limped out of the defeat by Dublin in the Leinster quarter-finals after just nine minutes with an injury he had picked up in training the week before, but his return to action in the Walsh Shield final against Carlow last week suggests that his problems are behind him.

Murphy is also on the way back after a recent spell on the sidelines, while Joe Brady, who has been out for a longer term, is also in the frame. Offaly have lost midfielder Derek Molloy after he headed to the US for the summer last week.

Cork are also due to name their team for the match tonight but changes are expected after the 10-goal rout of Laois.

In football, Mickey Harte appreciates that Donegal have no hang-ups about playing Tyrone in the Ulster championship.

Harte is expecting an attacking approach from Donegal despite their new-found reputation for a much more defensive orientation.

"I know that Donegal generally play well against Tyrone, they often be quite happy to meet Tyrone. I have heard managers in the past say that, they like meeting Tyrone, so they won't be too concerned about this game," he said.

"But I don't think you can read too much into past history. This is about a new year, this is about a new game, and Donegal have a new management set-up.

"They can defend, and they can move forward, and they can get scores when they need them.

"There's no point in being defensive if you can't score. So you need to be able to defend, and they do defend in numbers, but that's no good if you sit back and try to win a game by seven points to six or something."

Meanwhile, Kerry County Board have dedicated the prize for the intermediate club shield to one of Ireland's best-known rugby players.

The Moss Keane Memorial Cup will commemorate the late second-row, who played for Kerry at U-21 level and won a Sigerson Cup.

Irish Independent