Managers hedge bets as players nurse bruises

 

Gaelic Games All-Ireland SFC quarter-final replayBoth Donegal and Galway have deferred selection for Sunday's All-Ireland quarter-final replay in Castlebar.

The knocks and bruises in the respective camps are, however, likely to clear up and with longer-term injuries unlikely to heal, the teams are likely to be little changed from last Sunday's drawn encounter.

"I really can't see us picking before the weekend," said Donegal manager Brian McEniff. "The injury situation isn't a lot different. Stephen McDermott is less than 50-50, Brendan Devenney will be the same as last week and Damien Diver's bone will still be broken."

Centrefielder McDermott had to be replaced at half-time last weekend while Devenney is currently operating at, according to his manager, "80 per cent of his capacity".

Although he came on as a substitute in the drawn match Diver has a broken bone in his hand.

There is unhappiness in the county at the replay being fixed for within a week of the first match. When Donegal drew the corresponding quarter-final last year against Dublin the teams were given nearly a fortnight to recover.

Given that the three above players all took the field on Monday dosed with painkillers, the county view is that they could have been given the extra time to recover.

Dissatisfaction with the choice of Castlebar as venue hasn't abated but McEniff says it isn't an issue for the team.

"Castlebar is a good pitch and a fine venue. We just felt it might have been fairer to toss for home province between Castlebar and Clones or play the game in a neutral provincial venue such as Navan - like Armagh and Sligo did last year. But the decision has been made."

Meanwhile, Galway manager John O'Mahony is unlikely to make changes to his team that just about survived what was their first match in four weeks.

The extra six days are unlikely to be enough for Seán de Paor to recover from the injury that forced his late withdrawal from the first match.

"We hope everyone else will be okay," said O'Mahony, "but we won't be finalising things until before the throw-in or Saturday at the earliest."

De Paor's replacement, Kevin Brady, corner back Micheál Comer and centrefielder Joe Bergin are all carrying knocks but are expected to recover.