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Meath shuffle the deck for trip to Ballybofey

By Brian Kelly Fri 22nd Mar

Meath shuffle the deck for trip to Ballybofey
Meath shuffle the deck for trip to Ballybofey

It will be a much changed Meath side that takes to the field on Saturday evening in Mac Cumhaill Park, Ballybofey for our Allianz Football League Division 2 Round 7 fixture against Donegal as Colm O’Rourke has opted to make seven changes in personnel from the side which lost out to Cork a week ago.


Among the players coming into the side, there will be an Allianz Football League debut for Billy Hogan who will take up his customary position between the uprights.


The other alterations to the side sees Adam McDonnell, Diarmuid Moriarty, Harry O’Higgins, Keith Curtis, Ronan Jones & Ross Ryan all come into the starting XV while there could be further Allianz Football League debuts for Brendan McKeon and Sean Rafferty who are both on the match day panel for the first time in this years League.


26-03-23, Allianz Football League Roinn 2 Round 7 at St Conleths Park, Newbridge Meath V Kildare Ross Ryan (Meath) Photo: Paula Greif 2023


Harry O’Higgins makes a welcome return to the side at corner back having missed out on the League to date with injury, although he was named among the replacements a week ago and made a late appearance as a replacement, and the Drumbaragh Emmets clubman is joined in the full back line by Brian O’Halloran.  Fourteen months ago, no member of this full back line had played senior inter-county football.


There is a Summerhill hue to the half back line as the reigning Fairyhouse Steel SFC Champions provide both wing backs.  Adam McDonnell who comes in for his first League start is joined by Ross Ryan who starts for the first time in twelve months.  They are joined by Donal Keogan who moves out to centre back.



Team capatain Ronan Jones, who was unavailable for the Cork game, returns at midfield where he is partnered by Cian McBride.  The resultant reshuffle sees Cathal Hickey who was at midfield last week, push forward to the half forward line and he is joined here by Diarmuid Moriarty and Ruairí Kinsella.


The inside line is made up of a trio of players who all played at underage level together back in 2017 as Shane Walsh and Mathew Costello are joined by Keith Curtis who will be making his first start in the Allianz Football League.


Donal Keogan, Mathew Costello and team captain Ronan Jones are the three members of the team who played against Donegal when we last met in the 2020 Allianz Football League.  James Conlon who features among the replacements tomorrow evening, came on as substitute in that fixture.



  1. Billy Hogan (Maigh Dearmhaí) – (1 Start)
  2. Harry O’Higgins (Emmet Druim Bhearradh) – (9 Start)
  3. Adam O’Neill (Bhulf Tón) – (19 Starts)
  4. Brian O’Halloran (Baile Íomhair) – (4 Starts)
  5. Adam McDonnell (Druim Samhraidh) – (1 Start)
  6. Donal Keogan (Rath Coinnig) – (151 Starts)
  7. Ross Ryan (Druim Samhraidh) – (5 Starts)
  8. Ronan Jones (Naomh Peadar Dún Bóinne) (Capt.) – (35 Starts)
  9. Cian McBride (Naomh Ultain) – (5 Starts)
  10. Diarmuid Moriarty (Currach Átha) – (4 Starts)
  11. Ruairí Kinsella (Domhnach Seachnaill) – (2 Starts)
  12. Cathal Hickey (Baile Sencaill) – (29 Starts)
  13. Shane Walsh (Na Fianna) – (24 Starts)
  14. Mathew Costello (Domhnach Seachnaill) – (44 Starts)
  15. Keith Curtis (Rath Coinnig) – (5 Starts)
  16. Sean Brennan (Dún Doire) – (14 Starts)
  17. James Conlon (Naomh Colmcille) – (11 Starts)
  18. Danny Dixon (Bórd an Mhuilinn) – (2 Starts)
  19. Jack O’Connor (Currach Átha) – (27 Starts)
  20. Daithí McGowan (Rath Tó) – (16 Starts)
  21. Michael Murphy (Naomh Peadar Dún Bóinne) – (4 Starts)
  22. Aaron Lynch (Átha Troim) (11 Starts)
  23. Ciaran Caulfield (Átha Troim) – (8 Starts)
  24. Eoghan Frayne (Druim Samhraidh) – (7 Starts)
  25. Sean Rafferty (Na Fianna) – (1 Start)
  26. Brendan McKeon (Baile Íomhair) – (0 Starts)

Starting appearances are across all competitions.

By Brian Kelly Fri 22nd Mar

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