Wednesday 20 February 2019

Wanderer Fanning returns to bolster Wee defence

MICK FANNING has been parachuted straight back into the Louth defence following his recent return from extended travels Down Under and Stateside.

Fanning’s inclusion at centre-back is among the more notable selections as Peter Fitzpatrick seeks to emulate last year’s Leinster final run starting with a quarter-final opener against Carlow.

Ronan Carroll, who scored 1-3 from full-forward in the NFL Division 3 final victory over Westmeath, must be content with a bench role as Shane Lennon resumes at No 14.

Westmeath’s forward talisman, Dessie Dolan, has shaken off his hamstring scare to be included at top of the left for their quarter-final date in Wexford tomorrow night.

The AFL-bound John Heslin is available once more after suspension but must be satisfied with a place among the subs, while there are two SFC debutants in corner-back Aidan Finnan and midfielder Darragh Daly, who has earned his shot (alongside Denis Corroon) on foot of some eye-catching challenge match displays.

Predictably, Wexford have stuck with the same 15 that blitzed Offaly in the opening round. In Ulster, Dermot Molloy is a surprise omission from the Donegal team to face Cavan on Sunday, his place in the forwards going to veteran Michael Hegarty who now starts on the ‘40’.

There are two other enforced changes, with corner-back Frank McGlynn ruled out with a hamstring injury and Adrian Hanlon gone from the panel after a recent disciplinary breach. Into the mix comes Marty Boyle (in a reshuffled defence) and Kevin Rafferty in midfield with Rory Kavanagh.

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