Donaghy back in Kerry starting line-up for Sunday’s quarter-final against Cavan
Only other change sees Fionn Fitzgerald start at right corner back instead of Mark Griffin
Kieran Donaghy: has won his place back in Kerry’s attack for Sunday’s showdown with Cavan at Croke Park
Kieran Donaghy, dropped by Eamonn Fitzmaurice for the Munster final victory over Cork earlier this month, has been recalled to the Kerry full forward line ahead of Sunday’s All-Ireland quarter-final against Cavan.
It’s partially on merit, having come in for Declan Walsh the last day, but James O’Donoghue misses out due to a hamstring injury. O’Donoghue clipped over 0-3 against Cork and was expected to retain his place.
Fitzmaurice’s only other change sees Fionn Fitzgerald at right corner back instead of Mark Griffin.
Otherwise, it is a familiar -looking Kerry outfit as 11 of the side that took the field at this stage last summer are retained.
That was the end of the road for Jack O’Connor’s Kerry as Donegal knocked them out of the championship.
Johnny Buckley and Darran O’Sullivan came off the bench that day with Buckley now established in midfield alongside Anthony Maher while O’Sullivan joins Donaghy and Declan O’Sullivan in a potent-looking full forward line.
Colm Cooper continues his remodelled role as a play-making centre forward.
Legion’s Jonathan Lynn was not considered due to injury.
Sunday’s game will be Tomás Ó Sé’s 87th championship outing.
The 35-year-old has registered 3-35, mostly from wing back, since first coming on the scene in 1998.
Fellow veterans held in reserve are Eoin Brosnan, Bryan Sheehan and Aidan O’Mahony. Brosnan and Sheehan both came off the bench against Cork.
Meanwhile, Anthony Daly has defended the Dublin hurlers’ decision to have a bonding weekend in Bere Island before their heavy defeat to Tipperary in the National Hurling League semi-final.
Point being, the investment has handsomely paid out since.
“We all saw Eddie Brennan on The Sunday Game telling us how stupid it was a week before a league semi-final,” said Daly. “The madness of it all!
“God, I remember a prominent ex-manager in the game saying how he saw a colleague of mine running a team a few years ago on a summer’s evening and the stupidity of it all. And the sun shining. What he didn’t know was it was a football team from Milltown Malbay that were after having the Willy Clancy festival and they needed a run up a hill. He had no idea, he was out walking a dog.
“Some of the stuff that’s said. I agree with McGeeney sometimes – I don’t mean the cowards end of it! – but some of the stuff that’s said . . . people don’t really know.
“Bere Island was one weekend when we had a window of opportunity between Fitzgibbon and UCD did make the Fitzgibbon weekend this year and DIT had a good chance as well. They had a good team and they very nearly made it.
“There was one weekend window and there would have been loads if we hadn’t made the Division 1B league final but we had to think we were going to be in that.
“There was a weekend there and an opportunity there. We had to go for it, like, it was something we had to do just as a team-building exercise that every team from under-14 up do some sort of thing.
“Sure, don’t they bring them bowling for a night? My girls go off bowling anyway with Shannon Gaels.”
Dublin’s only injury concern ahead of the All-Ireland hurling semi-final against Cork on Sunday week is Simon Lambert (foot) but Daly expects him to recover.
KERRY (SFC v Cavan): B Kealy; F Fitzgerald, M Ó Sé, S Enright; T Ó Sé, K Young, P Crowley; A Maher, J Buckley; P Galvin, C Cooper, D Walsh; Declan O’Sullivan, K Donaghy, Darran O’Sullivan.