Niall Morgan hasn't been included in the Tyrone team to take on provincial champions Donegal in Sunday's Ulster preliminary round clash in Ballybofey. The goalkeeper was known to be struggling this week to be fit for selection and Mickey Harte's announcement confirms as much although the player is named on the panel leaving ajar the possibility that he might appear.
Morgan sustained a groin injury when the same teams met in the league at the same venue in March when Tyrone were heavily beaten and hasn’t yet recovered and has been experiencing difficulty with his kicking. Mickey O’Neill, who deputised during the league, is named for his full championship debut.
He replaced Morgan in last year’s preliminary round match against Down after the latter was dismissed on a black card after conceding a penalty. Ironically this was the fixture in which Morgan made his championship debut two years ago.
The team shows just one full debutant, Pádraig McNulty at centrefield. Seán Cavanagh captains the side at full forward on what will be his 73rd championship appearance for the county.
Donegal are not expected to announce their selection until this morning. Manager Rory Gallagher was expected to have a full pick for the team with all first-team players available. It will be the county’s first championship match at home at MacCumhaill Park since they last played Tyrone two years ago and ran out six-point winners.
Laois manager Tomás Ó Flatharta meanwhile gives a championship debut at left corner forward to Paul Kingston, brother of full forward Donie. Brendan Quigley lines out for the county at centrefield, having captained New York in last year's Connacht championship opener against Mayo. Paul Begley (hip) is the only injury concern for tomorrow's trip to Netwatch Cull Park.
Opponents Carlow have named three debutants in manager Turlough O’Brien’s first championship side. Their influential forward Paul Broderick hasn’t recovered in time to be named in the side but making their first starts are Robbie Molloy in goal, Mark Fitzgerald at right wing back and Darragh O’Brien, son of the manager, at left corner forward.
Galway manager Kevin Walsh has called up Michael Lundy, who missed the first round win in New York, for his first start of the championship. Lundy was in exceptional form for Corofin during the club’s march to All-Ireland success in March and comes in at wing forward for Sunday’s Connacht quarter-final against Leitrim in Carrick-on-Shannon.
Walsh makes one other change, starting Brian O’Donoghue in goal in place of Tom Healy. Lundy replaces Eddie Hoare. The winners will be on a collision course with champions of the past four years, Mayo.
Leitrim manager Shane Ward brings in five debutants for the match: Matthew Murphy, Niall Woods, Thomas Mulvey, Ronan Kennedy and James McGrail will all make their first championship starts.
Offaly unsurprisingly have gone for the same 15 that comfortable beat Longford in last month’s Division Four league final in Croke Park, scoring 3-9 in the second half. The county hasn’t won a championship match in eight years but will be hopeful of reversing last year’s defeat by the same opponents at the same stage in Leinster.
TYRONE (SFC v Donegal): Michael O'Neill; Aidan McCrory, Ronan McNamee, Cathal McCarron; Ronan McNabb, Justin McMahon, Peter Harte; Colm Cavanagh, Pádraig McNulty; Tiernan McCann, Matthew Donnelly, Barry Tierney; Darren McCurry, Seán Cavanagh (capt.), C McAliskey. Subs: Niall Morgan, Rory Brennan, Mark Bradley, Conor Clarke, Peter Hughes, Danny McBride, Conall McCann, Ryan McKenna, Joe McMahon, Cathal McShane, Ronan O'Neill.
LAOIS (SFC v Carlow): Graham Brody; Damien O'Connor, Mark Timmons, Stephen Attride; Darren Strong, Robbie Kehoe, Colm Begley; Brendan Quigley, John O'Loughlin; Niall Donoher, Conor Boyle, Evan O'Carroll; Ross Munnelly, Donal Kingston, Paul Kingston.
CARLOW (SFC): Robbie Molloy; Barry John Molloy, Shane Redmond, Kieran Nolan; Mark Fitzgerald, Daniel St. Ledger, (capt.), Benny Kavanagh;
Seán Gannon, Darragh Foley; Ciarán Moran, Eoghan Ruth, David Bambrick; Alan Kelly, Ed Finnegan, Darragh O’Brien.
OFFALY (SFC v Longford): Alan Mulhall; Brian Darby, Paul McConway (capt.), Daithi Brady; Niall Darby, Johnny Moloney, Joseph O’Connor; Graham Guilfoyle, Niall Smith; Eoin Carroll, Niall McNamee, Anton Sullivan; Bernard Allen, Nigel Dunne, William Mulhall.
GALWAY (SFC v Leitrim): Brian O'Donoghue; Johnny Duane, Finian Hanley, Cathal Sweeney; Liam Silke, Gary O'Donnell, Sean Denvir; Fiontan O Curraoin, Paul Conroy (capt.); Gary Sice, Shane Walsh, Micheal Lundy; Peadar O Griofa, Damien Comer, Danny Cummins.
LEITRIM (SFC): Cathal McCrann; Mathew Murphy, Ronan Gallagher, Niall Woods; Seán McWeeney (captain), Gary Reynolds, Thomas Mulvey; Darren Sweeney, Shane Moran; Danny Beck, Donal Wrynn, Kevin Conlan; Ronan Kennedy, James McGrail, Fergal Clancy. Subs: Diarmaid McKiernan, Paddy McGowan, Barry Prior, Jonathan Connolly, Alan McLoughlin, Conor Farrell, Ciaran Gilheany, Shane Quinn, Cian Clinton, Gary Plunkett, Mark Plunkett.
WESTMEATH (SFC v Louth): Darren Quinn; John Gilligan, Kevin Maguire, Killian Daly; Paddy Holloway, Kieran Martin, James Dolan; Darragh Daly, Ger Egan; Paul Sharry, Ray Connellan, John Stapleton; Callum McCormack, John Heslin, Shane Dempsey.
LOUTH (SFC): Neil Gallagher; Anthony Williams, Patrick Reilly, Padraig Rath; Declan Byrne, Darren O’Hanlon, Adrian Reid; Bevan Duffy, Tommy Durnin; Derek Maguire, Colm Judge, James Stewart; Ryan Burns, Conor Grimes, Páraic Smith.