Allianz League Division 2: Tyrone v Derry
(Saturday, Healy Park, 7pm, Referee: David Coldrick)
Damian Barton has named five changes to his starting line-up as Derry prepare to meet Tyrone for the fourth time this season in Healy Park on Saturday evening.
The intensity has been ramped up with each meeting so far this season as the importance of the games gradually build toward the Ulster Championship clash on May 22nd.
Barton will be missing from the line this weekend due to the ban handed out after the McKenna Cup final but following last week’s poor display against Galway he has decided to ring the changes.
Eoin McNicholl starts in nets in place of Thomas Mallon as Barton continues his policy of giving both keepers game-time while Eoghan Rua duo Niall Holly and Sean Leo McGoldrick come in for Mark Lynch and Benny Heron after both were introduced off the bench last week.
Oisin Duffy is preferred to Ryan Ferris in the full-back line while, most interestingly of all, Emmett McGuckin gets another chance to impress at full forward.
McGuckin was very harshly sent off on a second yellow card in the McKenna Cup group game after appearing to be hauled to the floor but had previously caused Tyrone plenty of problems.
Brendan Rogers moves from midfield to defence to accommodate Holly’s inclusion and the Coleraine player will be Emmett Bradley’s fourth different midfield partner in four league outings after Conor McAtamney, Mark Lynch and Rogers.
Derry 2016 record against Mickey Harte’s team does not make pretty reading. The Red Hands have won all three games but there has been little between the sides, especially in the two McKenna Cup games, and Cailean O’Boyle believes this league meeting arrives at the perfect time for Derry.
“This Tyrone game has come at the perfect time because it will get everyone up and running again after last week’s disappointment,” explained O’Boyle, who should have recovered from illness to be named among the substitutes, “It’s a game we need in order to progress out of this league. So it comes at a good time.”
The Derry team to play Tyrone on Saturday at Healy Park (7pm) is as follows:
1. Eoin McNicholl (Glenullin)
2. Oisin Duffy (Foreglen)
3. Chrissy McKaigue (Slaughtneil)
4. Karl McKaigue (Slaughtneil)
5. Gareth McKinless (B’Derry)
6. Brendan Rogers (Slaughtneil)
7. Mark Craig (Dungiven)
8. Niall Holly ((Eoghan Rua)
9. Emmett Bradley (Glen)
10. Daniel Heavron (Magherafelt)
11. Ciaran McFaul (Glen)
12. Sean Leo McGoldrick (Eoghan Rua)
13. Ryan Bell (B’derry)
14. Emmett McGuckin (M’felt)
15. James Kielt (Kilrea)