Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 17 September 2014

Harte sticks with what he knows for Donegal clash

Keeper Niall Morgan can also hit the target
Keeper Niall Morgan can also hit the target

Tyrone boss Mickey Harte is sticking with a winning formula as he makes just two personnel changes from the side that edged out Mayo in their last league encounter before the gap in the programme.

Michael Murphy comes in at midfield in his first start of the season to partner the in-form Sean Cavanagh against Donegal, allowing Conor Clarke to drop back into full-back.

Notably, Clarke's debut in county football came in the Championship last year against Donegal, when he held Michael Murphy scoreless from open play.

Elsewhere, Matthew Donnelly comes in for Plunkett Kane at wing-forward.

In picking the side he has, Harte retains the services of goalkeeper Niall Morgan. With scores likely to be hard come by in Healy Park on Sunday, Morgan's ability to convert long-range frees has become an asset to Tyrone, who have sometimes struggled in this regard.

Morgan's two points against Mayo has no doubt kept him between the sticks for the third consecutive league game, a change of policy by Harte who before now, used to rotate his goalkeepers through the league.

Elsewhere, the experienced Gerard O'Kane comes in as an able replacement for Richard Ferris in the Derry defence as they prepare to make the cross-country trek to take on Wexford.

Crossmaglen duo Aaron Kernan and Jamie Clarke go straight into the Armagh side to face Longford on Saturday night, with three-goal hero Gavin McParland ruled out through injury.

Orchard boss Paul Grimley has also excused his under-21 players from senior action as they gear up for their preliminary tie against Fermanagh on March 13th.

Frank Dawson makes a few tweaks and changes to his Antrim side, as they await the visit of table-toppers Fermanagh to Casement Park on Saturday night.

Chris Kerr replaces John Finucane in goal, while Sean McVeigh returns from suspension to resume what could blossom into a strong midfield partnership along with Michael McCann.

Paddy Cunningham replaces clubmate Michael Herron from the starting line up. Tomás McCann is named on the bench as he continues to work his way back.

Fermanagh didn't name a team, because of various injury worries to Conor Quigley, Barry Owens and captain Ryan McCluskey.

TEAMS: Tyrone (v Donegal): N Morgan; A McCrory, C Clarke, Justin McMahon; R McKenna, Joe McMahon, R McNamee; M Murphy, S Cavanagh; P McNiece, P Harte, Matthew Donnelly; C McAliskey, S O'Neill (Capt), Mark Donnelly.

Derry (v Wexford): T Mallon; G O'Kane, C McKaigue, D McBride; C Kielt, M Lynch (capt), SL McGoldrick; Patsy Bradley, PJ McCloskey; B McGoldrick, J Kielt, E Lynn; B Heron, E McGuckin, E Bradley.

Armagh (V Longford): P McEvoy; G McCooey, J Donnelly, S Finnegan; A Kernan, B Donaghy, C McKeever; J Lavery, K Toner; K Dyas, S Campbell, C Rafferty; J Clarke, S Forker, B Mallon.

Antrim (v Fermanagh): C Kerr; K O'Boyle (Capt), P Doherty, N Delargy; T Scullion, J Crozier, J Carron; M McCann, S McVeigh; C Murray, K Niblock, B Herron; P Cunningham, M Pollock, R Murray.

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