03 Dec 2021

Offaly make changes to starting team for Kildare showdown

Offaly make changes for Kildare showdown as McNamee left off?

Carl Stewart in action against Kildare last year.

OFFALY have made a number of changes for Sunday's Leinster Senior Football Championship quarter-final against Kildare but it remains to be seen what starting team takes to the field.

In a team released last night, Niall McNamee has been left off with Tubber's Bernard Allen returned to the starting line-up. The veteran Rhode attacker was a surprise choice to start in the first round win over Louth but was brilliant as Offaly won an extra time thriller. McNamee played for 86 minutes before being replaced in the second period of extra time. It would now be a surprise if he doesn't start but management's intentions will only become clear when the team is announced before throw in.

Offaly have named a number of “dummy” teams this year with late changes taking place before throw in. McNamee and Johnny Moloney were not named for the Louth game but both started.

Moloney has not been named for the big game in Portlaoise with Carl Stewart selected at centre half back. Stewart impressed in a new role at centre half forward, working hard and catching the eye with the quality of some of his long foot passes. Peter Cunningham has been named at centre half forward, instead of midfield with Cathal Mangan selected at midfield. The rest of the announced team is the same as that which beat Louth.

There is the possibility that some of these changes will happen but supporters will also be anticipating late switches. Sunday's game is in Portlaoise with throw in at 4.30pm.

OFFALY: Paddy Dunican (Shamrocks); James Lalor (Raheen), Eoin Rigney (Rhode), Niall Darby (Rhode); Colm Doyle (Clara), Carl Stewart (Clara), David Dempsey (Ballycommon); Cathal Mangan (Kilclonfert), Jordan Hayes (Edenderry); Shane Horan (Kilmacud Crokes), Peter Cunningham (Bracknagh), Anton Sullivan (Rhode); Bernard Allen (Tubber), Cian Farrell (Edenderry), Ruari McNamee (Rhode). Subs – Ian Duffy (Walsh Island), Eoin Carroll (Cappincur), Johnny Moloney (Tullamore), Jack Quinn (Ballycumber), Cian Donohue (St Brigid's), Mark Abbott (Edenderry), Ciaran Donnelly (Brackagh), Joe Maher (Ferbane), Bill Carroll (Cappincur), Niall McNamee (Rhode), Aaron Leavy (Tullamore).

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