Morgan back between the sticks for Tyrone's tie with Meath
TYRONE manager Mickey Harte has made two changes to his starting 15 for Saturday’s All-Ireland SFC round 2B qualifier with Meath.
Omagh veteran Joe McMahon will make his first start of the season at centre-back in place of injured younger brother Justin, while Niall Morgan returns between the sticks after a knee cartilage injury ruled rookie stopper Mickey O'Neill out of the game. Seán Fox has been drafted into the panel as Harte’s substitute goalkeeper.
Mattie Donnelly has been named at number nine, but the Trillick man is expected to operate on the opposition ’45, with Peter Harte attacking from midfield despite wearing the number seven jersey. U21 All-Ireland winning defender Rory Brennan has been named in the half-forward line, but is expected to spend most of the game around the Tyrone half-back line.
Seán Cavanagh, meanwhile, makes his 75th Championship appearance for the Red Hands at full-forward, drawing level with recently-retired record holder Conor Gormley. Brennan’s U21 team-mate Mark Bradley, who was a positive influence upon his introduction against Limerick in the last round, will have to settle for a place on the bench.
Fresh from their emphatic Leinster SFC semi-final win over Meath, John Connellan is the only change on the Westmeath team for Sunday’s Leinster final with Dublin. The Athlone corner-forward will replace Lorcan Smyth for the Croke Park showdown.
Positional switches made by manager Tom Cribbin will see Denis Carroon move from half-forward to midfield, with Paul Sharry reverting to number 11 after playing at centrefield against the Royals.
Jimmy Barry-Murphy has kept faith with the same Cork side that started against Wexford for Saturday's All-Ireland SHC round two qualifier against Clare at Semple Stadium.
Returning to the squad are Shane O'Neill and Luke O'Farrell. O'Neill is fit again after recovering from an ankle injury, while O'Farrell is available after serving a one-match ban following his sending-off in the Munster semi-final against Waterford.
Castlemartyr’s Brian Lawton, who hit 0-2 in the win over Wexford, retains his place at left half-forward, while Aidan Walsh lines out at right half-back for the second week in succession. Lorcan McLoughlin is not listed among the substitutes as he continues to recover from a shoulder injury picked up in mid-May.
Dublin manager Jim Gavin, meanwhile, has spoken out about the injury Davy Byrne sustained in a challenge match with Armagh.
The Ballymun Kickham's player has been ruled out of this weekend’s clash with Westmeath with a broken nose, but didn’t fracture his eye socket as previously reported. The incident took place shortly before a challenge match between the two teams last Thursday and Gavin says Byrne and the unnamed Armagh player have since been in contact. All parties concerned have agreed to park the issue.
"Regrettably, an incident took place before a recent challenge game against Armagh," said Gavin.
"It's disappointing because I think discipline would be a core philosophy of both management teams. Subsequent to that, both players have spoken and they regret what happened and both players are now concentrating on their inter-county careers."
In hurling, Michael Carton has left the Dublin hurling panel ahead of their All-Ireland Qualifier against Limerick on Saturday at Semple Stadium. The experienced full-back was an unused sub in last weekend's win against Laois and decided to quit the panel shortly afterwards. Carton was nominated for an Allstar in 2013, when Dublin won the Leinster title.
Tyrone (All-Ireland SFC Qualifier round 2B v Meath): N Morgan, A McCrory, R McNamee, C McCarron; R McNabb, Joe McMahon, P Harte; C Cavanagh, M Donnelly; T McCann, R O'Neill, R Brennan; D McCurry, S Cavanagh, C McAliskey.
Westmeath (Leinster SFC final v Dublin): D Quinn; K Daly, K Maguire, J Gilligan; P Holloway, K Martin, J Dolan; D Corroon, D Daly; G Egan, P Sharry, R Connellan; J Connellan, J Heslin, S Dempsey
Cork (All-Ireland SHC Qualifier round two v Clare): A Nash; D Cahalane, S McDonnell, B Murphy; A Walsh, M Ellis, C Murphy; D Kearney, B Cooper; C Lehane, P Cronin, B Lawton; A Cadogan, S Harnedy, P Horgan.