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Sharry wins fitness battle to start against Cork

Story by Paul Hughes

Wednesday, 29th January, 2014 11:43am

Sharry wins fitness battle to start against Cork

Westmeath skipper Paul Sharry has been cleared to start Sunday's league opener against Cork

Westmeath captain Paul Sharry has been cleared to start the Lake County's Allianz National Football League Division 1 opener against Cork at Páirc Uí Rinn this Sunday (2pm).

The St Loman's, Mullingar playmaker starts at left half forward in Paul Bealin's selection, which was announced today.

Bealin has made a number of changes to the side which lost to Louth in the O'Byrne Cup recently, starting in goal, with Tyrrellspass's Darren Quinn getting the nod ahead of Stephen Gallagher (St Loman's).

The full back line of Steven Gilmore, Kevin Maguire and Damien Dolan remains, while the trio of half backs who started against Louth - Doron Harte (Garrycastle), Francis Boyle (Killucan) and Ronan Foley (Coralstown/Kinnegad) - have not made the final 26.

Ballymore's John Gilligan will start at centre half back, flanked by James Dolan (Garrycastle) - who returns from college duty - and Jamie Gonoud (Tyrrellspass).

The midfield duo of David Duffy and Denis Corroon is unchanged, with Sharry partnered by Ger Egan and Athlone's John Egan in the half forward line. Regular starter Callum McCormack continues his recovery from a hamstring injury, and will be among the subs.

The returning John Heslin meanwhile - who put in a terrific Sigerson Cup shift for UCD last night - starts at full forward, much to the delight of Westmeath Gaels eager to see him deployed in his optimum position. Either side of him his Kieran Martin (Maryland) and Alan Giles (Coralstown/Kinnegad).

Experienced forwards Denis Glennon (still battling injury) and Dessie Dolan start on the bench, but are likely to play a role for the Maroons at some stage.

The full Westmeath panel for Sunday is:

Darren Quinn (Tyrrellspass); Steven Gilmore (St Loman's, Mullingar), Kevin Maguire (Caulry), Damien Dolan (Caulry); James Dolan (Garrycastle), John Gilligan (Ballymore), Jamie Gonoud (Tyrrellspass); David Duffy (Shandonagh), Denis Corroon (Mullingar Shamrocks); Ger Egan (Tyrrellspass), John Egan (Athlone), Paul Sharry (capt., St Loman's, Mullingar); Kieran Martin (Maryland), John Heslin (St Loman's, Mullingar), Alan Giles (Coralstown/Kinnegad).

Subs: Stephen Gallagher (St Loman's, Mullingar), Kieran Gavin (Mullingar Shamrocks), Shane Flynn (St Loman's, Mullingar), Gavin Hoey (Tyrrellspass), Dessie Dolan (Garrycastle), Ray Connellan (Athlone), Dean McNicholas (Tyrrellspass), Seanie Daly (Mullingar Shamrocks), Denis Glennon (Tyrrellspass), David McCormack (Rosemount), Callum McCormack (Maryland).

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