Monday 11 December 2017

Tormey woe for Royals as forward ruled out for remainder of league campaign

MEATH'S finely balanced promotion hopes have been dealt a major blow with the news that Andrew Tormey is set to miss the rest of their Allianz FL.

On a more positive note, Éamon Wallace is named to start his first senior game since last year's cruciate ligament tear when the Royals travel to Roscommon on Sunday.

This crucial Division Two clash was originally earmarked for the start of March only to fall prey to the weather. Mick O'Dowd's men have garnered five points from their first four outings and are currently hanging onto second place, by dint of scoring difference, just ahead of a Ros' outfit boosted by last Sunday's impressive winning raid on Kildare.

The previous night, Meath had faltered badly in the second half at home to Laois, surrendering a seven-point lead and then relying on a late equalising point from substitute Wallace.

Wallace's reward is a place at right corner-forward for the Dr Hyde Park showdown, indirectly replacing the hamstrung Tormey, who had to be helped off in obvious distress in the closing stages against Laois.

It has now been confirmed that the Donaghmore/Ashbourne clubman won't play in the remaining three league rounds.

Meath fans will be hoping that his absence is countered by the increasing match-fitness of Wallace. The Ratoath flyer got through the full hour of Meath's Leinster U21 semi-final defeat to Kildare on Wednesday night, kicking three points from play in the process.

Earlier this month he was selected to start Meath's league tie with Westmeath but, in the event, was held back for a fourth quarter cameo.

O'Dowd has kept changes to a minimum despite that alarming 25-minute scoreless spell against Laois, making just one alteration (Wallace for Tormey) on the team to face Roscommon.

Another U21 ace, midfielder Harry Rooney, came off through injury against Kildare and is likely to miss the remaining NFL games - but, more positively, James McEntee came off the bench for the U21s after his recent injury-enforced absence.

DUBLIN will definitely be without Michael Carton for Sunday's critical Division 1A duel with Galway in Donnycarney. Carton has been reinvented as a full-back this spring, but Ger Cunningham must seek out an alternative No 3 after the O'Toole's defender suffered ankle ligament damage against Clare last Saturday.

Carton left the ground on crutches while Danny Sutcliffe also failed to finish the match in Ennis, after shipping a bang, leaving the 2013 All Star another injury concern this weekend.

DARRAGH Ó Sé looks set to step down as Kerry U21 football manager following Wednesday night's Munster semi-final loss to Cork. "It's time for a fresh voice. I've been there for three years now, enjoyed my time no end. I did a lot of work with the lads and enjoyed my time and I think maybe it's time for somebody else now," said ó Sé.

MEATH (SF v Roscommon): P O'Rourke; D Tobin, C McGill, M Burke; N Judge, D Keogan, B Power; B Menton, A Flanagan; G Reilly, P Harnan, M O'Sullivan; E Wallace, S Bray, M Newman.

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