Kerry’s Kieran Donaghy dropped for Munster final
Star forward to start on the bench for clash with Cork
Kerry’s Kieran Donaghy in action against Niall Walsh of Waterford during the Munster SFC semi-final last month. Donaghy has been dropped for Sunday’s Munster final against Cork, with Darran O’Sullivan taking his place. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho
The comparisons were inevitable although the dropping of Kieran Donaghy wasn’t quite the bombshell that fell Down Under. Kerry manager Eamonn Fitzmaurice was always likely to shake things up a little for Sunday’s Munster football final against Cork, given the five-week break since the semi-final win over Waterford.
Donaghy is listed among the substitutes, and almost certain to see some action at Fitzgerald Stadium: but given Kerry have had 20 training sessions in the build-up to Sunday, since that win over Waterford, someone was bound to play themselves back into the starting team – and that man was Darran O’Sullivan.
O’Sullivan’s selection ahead of Donaghy is one of the three changes:
Mark Griffin will make his championship debut at full back in place of Aidan O’Mahony, who dislocated his elbow in training last week, while Shane Enright also returns to his corner back position in place of Fionn Fitzgerald, who drops to the bench.
Griffin, from the St Michael’s Foilemore Club in south Kerry, is possibly a bigger gamble than Donaghy’s exclusion: although the 22-year-old won a Hogan Cup Medal with Coláiste na Sceilge in 2009, with Jack O’Connor in charge.
There are still 11 survivors from the side that fell to Donegal in the All-Ireland quarter-final last August, where Johnny Buckley and O’Sullivan were introduced as subs.
Kerry’s victory over Waterford in the semi-final increased to 22 the number of games the Kingdom are unbeaten in Championship football in Fitzgerald Stadium since 1995, when they lost to Cork.
Tyrone have also confirmed Stephen O’Neill won’t play in their All-Ireland qualifier clash with Roscommon on Saturday as he’s still receiving treatment for the Achilles injury which kept him out of last weekend’s runaway win over Offaly.
His replacement, Darren McCurry, scored eight points at Tullamore, and could get the nod to start again at Hyde Park.
The McMahon brothers, Joe and Justin, are fit again and in line to start against the Rossies, who will face Tyrone for a third successive season in the qualifiers.
Defender Dermot Carlin could also be set to return to action, despite having his recovery from a broken nose complicated by an Achilles injury.
KERRY (SF v Cork): B Kealy; M Ó Sé, M Griffin, S Enright; T Ó Sé, K Young, P Crowley; A Maher, J Buckley; P Galvin, C Cooper, D Walsh; Darran O’Sullivan, Declan O’Sullivan, J O’Donoghue.