Mark McHugh replaces Neil Gallagher in sole change to Donegal side to face Down

Séamus Harnedy to debut for Cork against Clare as Pa Cronin makes the bench

All-Ireland champions Donegal have made one change for Sunday’s Ulster football semi-final against Down in Breffni Park. Mark McHugh, who was withdrawn before the throw-in for the quarter-final defeat of Tyrone in Ballybofey, is back in the listed team for this weekend.

McHugh came into that match after only 20 minutes and is due to start against Down in place of Neil Gallagher, who is suffering from a groin injury. Once again Footballer of the Year Karl Lacey isn't deemed fit to start and Declan Walsh will again line out instead of him in the half backs.

Gallagher's absence sees Ryan Bradley move to centrefield with McHugh resuming on the left wing of the attack.

Opponents Down have named an unchanged side for the match. Manager James McCartan goes with the side that defeated Derry in Celtic Park thanks to goals from Mark Poland and Donal O’Hare.


Sunday is a re-run of last year’s Ulster final, won emphatically by Donegal, 2-18 to 0-13, after a well contested first half. Eamonn McGee’s return in place of Lacey is actually the only change in the champions’ starting 15 whereas Down have changed a third of the team with Declan Rooney, Peter Turley, Ryan Boyle, Keith Quinn and Niall Madine all coming in.

Madine caught the eye during the county’s under-21 campaign and although he was restricted to a single league appearance, he kicked three points fom play against Derry.

Captain misses out
Cork hurlers give one debut in the team to face Clare on Sunday in Limerick's Gaelic Grounds. Séamus Harnedy will play his first senior championship match at centre forward. From the St Ita's club near Youghal Harnedy was a member of the UCC side that retained the Fitzgibbon Cup last spring. Captain Pa Cronin misses out as indicated during the week and in his absence – there is still a possibility that he may come on from the substitutes' bench – the team will be led by Brian Murphy.

Clare aren’t expected to release their team until the day of the match. There are unlikely to be many changes from the side that defeated Waterford in Thurles three weeks ago.

Meanwhile the Offaly team to play Waterford tomorrow in the All-Ireland hurling qualifiers in Tullamore shows three changes from the side that lost to Kilkenny in the Leinster quarter-final.

Cathal Parlon is ruled out with a broken bone in his hand and is replaced by Derek Morkan who missed the Kilkenny game with a leg injury. Derek Molloy who came on as a replacement against Kilkenny, retains his place at centre-forward at the expense of Conor Mahon and Dan Currams who also came made an appearance against Kilkenny is named at full forward with Seán Cleary reverting to the bench.

Leitrim, attempting to make what would be just a third Connacht football final in 20 seasons, have made five changes to the team that breezed past New York in the quarter-final, for Sunday’s clash with London, fresh from beating Sligo in what was a first win in 36 years in the province.

Disciplinary reasons force the replacement of Wayne McKeon and Tomás Beirne . Into the team come Ciarán Egan, former Longford player Enda Williams, Barry Prior, Brendan Brennan and Paddy McGowan.

Antrim make five changes for tomorrow’s qualifier against Wexford. Returning to the side after suspension is Karl Stewart whereas Simon McCrory and Chris McGuinness are back after injury.

They come in for Matthew Donnelly, Mark McFadden and Eddie McCloskey. In goal Chris O’Connell comes in for Ryan McGarry and Darren Hamill replaces Ciarán Clarke at left corner forward.

DONEGAL (SFC v Down): P Durcan; P McGrath, N McGee, E McGee; Declan Walsh, F McGlynn, A Thompson; R Bradley, R Kavanagh; David Walsh, L McLoone, M McHugh; P McBrearty, M Murphy, C McFadden. Subs: Michael Boyle, R McHugh, L Keaney, Marty Boyle, R Wherity, M McElhinney, M O'Reilly, O McNiallais, D Molloy, G McFadden, D McLaughlin.
DOWN (SFC): B McVeigh; D McCartan, B McArdle, R Boyle; D Rooney, P Turley, K Quinn; K King, K McKernan; A Rogers, M Poland, N Madine; D O'Hare, B Coulter, C Laverty.
CORK (SHC v Clare): A Nash; S McDonnell, B Murphy, C O'Sullivan; S O'Neill, C Joyce, W Egan; T Kenny, D Kearney; C McCarthy, S Harnedy, C Lehane; P Horgan, L O'Farrell, S Moylan. Subs: D McCarthy, K Murphy, P O'Mahony, S White, M Ellis, R O'Shea, C Naughton, J Coughlan, M Cussen, P Cronin, B Hartnett.
LEITRIM (SFC v London): C McCrann; A Wynne, C Egan, G Reynolds; D Beck, E Williams, B Prior; D Sweeney, B Brennan; P Brennan, E Mulligan, P McGowan; K Conlon, J Glancy, R Lowe.
LONDON (SFC): D Traynor; P Butler, S Curran, D McGreevy; S Hannon, T Gaughan; M Gottsche, C Doyle; G Crowley, L Mulvey, B Mitchell; P McGoldrick, P Gergahty, C Magee.
WATERFORD (SHC v Offaly): S O'Keeffe; S Fives, L Lawlor, N Connors; J Nagle, M Walsh, D Fives; P Prendergast, K Moran; J Dillon, S Prendergast, S O'Sullivan; J Barron, M Shanahan, B O'Sullivan.
ANTRIM: (SHC v Wexford): C O'Connell; B McFall, A Graffin, C McKinley; S McCrory, N McManus (capt), P Shiels; J McGreevey, N McAuley; T McCloskey, C Carson, S McNaughton; C McGuinness, K Stewart, D Hamill.
OFFALY (SHC v Waterford): J Dempsey; C McDonald, D Kenny (Capt), D Mooney; R Hanniffy, G Healion, D Morkan; B Carroll, K Brady; C Egan, D Molloy, C Slevin; S Dooley, D Currams, J Bergin.

Seán Moran

Seán Moran

Seán Moran is GAA Correspondent of The Irish Times