Thursday 14 December 2017

Tyrone make two changes for semi tie

JAMES HORAN has kept faith with his 15 quarter-final avengers, naming an unchanged Mayo team for this Sunday's All-Ireland SFC semi-final against Tyrone in Croke Park.

Mayo's 'same again' mantra comes despite a number of recent injury scares and even a rumour of a cruciate setback for skipper Andy Moran – promptly dismissed by the county board.

All the indications are that Moran will be fit to take his corner-forward place, while corner-back Tom Cunniffe (hamstring) and midfield talisman Aidan O'Shea (leg) allayed injury concerns by lining out in last Sunday's 'A' v 'B' practice match. Chris Barrett was parachuted in for Richie Feeney the last day and now retains his place at corner-back.

As a consequence, wandering All Star corner-back Keith Higgins is listed on the '40', having started in a new wing-forward role against Donegal. Rob Hennelly continues between the posts, as Kenneth O'Malley has not fully recovered from his ankle injury.

Meanwhile, Mickey Harte has made two changes to the team which beat Monaghan for Sunday's game.

Conor McAliskey comes in for the suspended Martin Penrose at corner-forward, while Ryan McKenna is named in defence in place of Dermot Carlin.

Carlin has missed large chunks of the season with various injuries, including two broken noses suffered in quick succession during and after Tyrone's Ulster loss to Donegal, although he started and finished the Monaghan victory and was again expected for selection against Mayo.

Conor Gormley, who successfully fought the one-match ban proposed by the CCCC for his part in the half-time flashpoint with Monaghan's Dessie Mone, is listed to start at left half-back.

TYRONE (SF v Mayo): P McConnell; R McKenna, C Clarke, C McCarron; C McGinley, P Harte, C Gormley; C Cavanagh, S Cavanagh; Matthew Donnelly, Mark Donnelly, J McMahon; D McCurry, S O'Neill, C McAliskey.

MAYO (SF v Tyrone): R Hennelly; T Cunniffe, G Cafferkey, C Barrett; L Keegan, D Vaughan, C Boyle; A O'Shea, S O'Shea; K McLoughlin, K Higgins, A Dillon; C O'Connor, A Freeman, A Moran.

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