LOUTH manager Peter Fitzpatrick has made two changes to his starting line up from the side that beat Wexford two weeks ago.
Ronan Carroll, who hobbled off after five minutes in Wexford Park looks to have lost his race against fitness as he is deployed on the bench, with Brian Donnelly coming into midfield to partner Paddy Keenan for the clash against Offaly, which throws in at 2.30 at the Gaelic Grounds on Sunday.
For Donnelly, who came on that day for Carroll in Louth’s 1-12 to 0-11 win over the Model County, it’s his first start since he played on the forty against Kildare in the final of the O’Byrne Cup.
Fitzpatrick’s other change comes in the forward line as veteran JP Rooney replaces Mattock Rangers frontman Adrian Reid. Rooney has been an effective substitute in his last two outings. He hit a late point against Wexford in the closing stages of the game and his clever display against Tipperary for the final 17 minutes helped Louth hang onto the two points.
Elsewhere, St Patrick’s man Sean Connor keeps his position in between the posts as Louth’s number one and there is another start for Declan Byrne, who was unfortunate to have been taken off against Wexford after only 30 minutes. Byrne had received a yellow card and a tick, so as a precaution, Fitzpatrick brought on Eamonn McAuley in his place.
Jamie Carr is listed amongst the substitutes, though he has had limited time in a Louth shirt so far this campaign. A win against Offaly would put Louth on eight points.
The starting 15 is as follows; Sean Connor; Declan Byrne, Aaron Hoey, Gerard Hoey; Ray Finnegan, Dessie Finnegan, Stephen Fitzpatrick; Paddy Keenan, Brian Donnelly; Derek Crilly, Mark Brennan, Andy McDonnell; Derek Maguire, Shane Lennon, JP Rooney.
Subs: Neil Gallagher, Adrian Reid, Paraic Smith, Colm Judge, Eamonn McAuley, Jamie Carr, Padraig Rath, Liam Shevlin, Ronan Greene, James Califf.
Like Peter Fitzpatrick’s footballers, Paddy Kelly’s hurlers are looking to keep their 100% record intact in Division 3B of the Allianz Hurling League.
Kelly’s side beat Fingal 1-14 to 0-14 last Sunday, courtesy of an inspired performance by Ger Smyth, who hit 0-8 on the day, with the goal coming from Diarmuid O’Sullivan.
As expected, both of those players are in the starting line-up for this Sunday’s clash with Mayo, scheduled for Dowdallshill
Cathal Ryan comes in for Shane Fennell and Derek Horan comes in for Darren O’Hanrahan in the half forward line.
After training with past and present Limerick hurlers during the week, the side are expected to be in a confident mood coming into the game.
The team is as follows; James Connolly; Adrian Wallace, Conor Kerrigan, Mark Wallace; Domhnall McArdle, Ronan Byrne, Diarmuid Murphy; Donagh O’Sullivan, Shane Callan; Cathal Ryan, David Dunne, Derek Horan; Brian Corcoran, Gerard Smyth, Diarmuid O’Sullivan
Subs: Eddie McArdle, Brian Hassett, David Kettle, Darren O’Hanrahan, Paddy McCormack, Gavin Kerrigan, Wesley Morrissey, Gary Rellis, Shane Fennell, Kevin McNally, Oisin Drumm