Brian Duignan, starting in Sligo.
THE Offaly senior and minor hurling teams have been announced for their big games today.
The minors play Kilkenny in the 2020 Leinster Minor Hurling Championship final in Portlaoise at 12 noon while the seniors open their Christy Ring Cup campaign in Sligo at 3.00pm.
Offaly will be underdogs for the minor hurling decider but played very well last year to beat Laois, Kildare and Westmeath and will be confident of giving it a real go.
They have made a couple of changes from the team that beat Westmeath in the semi-final last December. Patrick Taaffe was injured for that and he replaces Ruari Dunne in the defence while Daniel Bourke comes into the attack in place of Lee Hogan.
Belmont man Taaffe came on as a sub for Offaly in their Leinster minor football final defeat by Meath on Wednesday night. He played very well when he came on while Offaly have another dual player in Tullamore's Cormac Egan. Egan was the minor football captain and he will lead the attack here from centre half forward.
The senior hurlers are unbackable hot favourites for their game against Sligo and they have named a very strong team. There are a couple of big decisions on their team with Ballinamere's John Murphy and Tullamore's Shane Dooley named to start on the full forward line. They were part of a second string team that destroyed Wicklow in their last National Hurling League Division 2A game and have been rewarded for outstanding displays that day.
Aidan Treacy has also been handed a starting place on the half back line, having done well in that Wicklow game. There are no real surprises on the Offaly team and they are very hot favourites to win the Christy Ring Cup this year, They are not taking any chances against Sligo and are very much putting their best foot forward.
OFFALY MINOR HURLING TEAM: Mark Troy (Durrow); Patrick Taaffe (Belmont), Charlie Bracken (Kilcormac/Killoughey), Oisin Kilmartin (Kilcormac/Killoughey); Luke Watkins (Ballyskenagh/Killavilla), Sam Bourke (Durrow), Joseph Hoctor (Shinrone); Colin Spain (Kilcormac/Killoughey), Cathal King (Carrig and Riverstown); Lochlann Quinn (Birr), Cormac Egan (Tullamore), Eoin Murphy (Brosna Gaels); Daniel Bourke (Durrow), Charlie Mitchell (Kilcormac/Killoughey), Luke Carey (Seir Kieran). Subs – Kieran Coonan (Clodiagh Gaels), Ruari Dunne (Clodiagh Gaels), Lee Hogan (Carrig and Riverstown), Cian Nolan (Birr), Adam Landy (Shinrone), Eoin Boland (Ballinamere), Daniel Coughlan (Kilcormac-Killoughey), Barry Egan (Clara), Alex Kavanagh (Kilcormac/Killoughey), Darragh Landy (Shinrone), Daire Temple (Lusmagh), Ciaran Daly (St Rynagh's), Patrick Bergin (Carrig and Riverstown), Joel Troy (Clodiagh Gaels), Liam O'Regan (Shinrone), Andrew Coakley (Carrig and Riverstown).
OFFALY SENIOR HURLING TEAM:Conor Clancy (St Rynaghs); Paddy Delaney (Kinnitty), Ciarán Burke (Durrow), David King (Coolderry); Aidan Treacy (St Rynagh's), Ben Conneely (St Rynaghs), Killian Sampson (Shinrone); Leon Fox (Belmont), Ross Ravenhill (Durrow); Eoghan Cahill (Birr), Liam Langton (Clodiagh Gaels), Brian Duignan (Durrow); Oisin Kelly (Belmont), John Murphy (Ballinamere), Shane Dooley (Tullamore). Subs – Stephen Corcoran (Coolderry), Jordan Quinn (Kilcormac/Killoughey), Padraic Guinan (Drumcullen), Joey Keenaghan (Clodiagh Gaels), Eimhin Kelly (Lusmagh), Damien Egan (Belmont), Shane Kinsella (Kinnitty), Jason Sampson (Shinrone), Luke O'Connor (St Rynagh's), Conor Langton (Clodiagh Gaels), Padraig Cantwell (Shamrocks).
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