OFFALY captain Niall McNamee hasn’t recovered sufficiently from a quad injury and he hasn’t been included in the twenty-six man squad to face Limerick in the second round of the Allianz National Football League Division 4 this Sunday, February 10th at 2pm in O’Connor Park, Tullamore.
Manager Emmet McDonnell and selectors Paul Mollen and Gordon McDonnell were also without their ace Rhode talisman for their opening round clash against London at Ruislip last Sunday and he will be sorely missed for this vital encounter against a Limerick side that defeated Offaly in Round 2 of the All-Ireland SFC Qualifiers in 2011 by 3-13 to 0-15 at the Gaelic Grounds.
Introduced after 26 minutes during the 1-13 to 1-5 victory over London, 18-year-old Bracknagh club man Peter Cunningham, who captained Offaly minors in 2012, has been rewarded with a full NFL debut and he lines out at full forward. Cunningham kicked four points when he was sprung from the bench against The Exiles.
Edenderry’s Richie Dalton, named to start against London but was omitted and subsequently made an appearance from the bench after fifty minutes in place of Alan McNamee, is selected to start at mid-field against Limerick.
With Cunningham and Dalton figuring in the starting XV, it means that Shane Sullivan (Rhode) and Bernard Allen (Tubber) who got late up’s to the side that began against London, find them-selves on the bench for the visit of Maurice Horan’s Limerick side who defeated Connacht FBD League winners Leitrim in round one.
Just five of the side selected for Sunday’s match featured when the counties last met in the Allianz NFL on February 27, 2011 at Newcastlewest in a Division 3 tie that Offaly won narrowly, 2-10 to 1-12. Alan Mulhall, Brian Darby, Sean Pender and Richie Dalton were on duty two years ago, while Brian Connor was introduced as a sub. Niall McNamee lined out against Limerick in 2011 and scored 0-2, but injury will prevent him from seeing action this time around. . The Offaly squad is;
1 Alan Mulhall (Walsh Island) 2 Brian Darby (Rhode) 3 Eoin Rigney (Rhode) 4 Sean Pender (Edenderry) 5 David Hanlon (Edenderry) 6 Derek Kelly (Edenderry) 7 Graham Guilfoyle (Clara) 8 Alan McNamee (Rhode) 9 Richie Dalton (Edenderrry) 10 Ross Brady (Clara) 11 Brian Connor (Walsh Island) 12 Eoin Carroll (Cappincur) 13 Matthew Mitchell (Clara) 14 Peter Cunningham (Bracknagh) 15 Anton Sullivan (Rhode) . Subs 16 Gavin Sheil (Killeigh) 17 Shane Sullivan (Rhode) 18 Keith McGuinness (Edenderry) 19 Paul McConway (Tullamore) 20 Paul McPadden (Rhode) 21 Mark Young (Edenderry) 22 Michael Brazil (Tullamore) 23 Bernard Allen (Tubber) 24 John Moloney (Tullamore) 25 Ruairi Allen (Gracefield) 26 Joe Maher (Ferbane).