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O’Neill restored for Ballybofey battle

Tyrone manager Mickey Harte.

Tyrone manager Mickey Harte.

BY CHRIS MCNULTY

AS EXPECTED, captain Stephen O’Neill has been reinstated into the Tyrone team for Sunday’s Ulster SFC clash with Donegal in Ballybofey.

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The experienced Clann na nGael attacker missed the League final defeat to Dublin last month after suffering a freak ankle injury when he fell over a football in the warm-up, but he has been restored to the number 14 shirt by Mickey Harte.

The Tyrone manager has shuffled the pack for his team’s trip to Donegal to play the All-Ireland champions.

Paddy McNeice drops to the bench with O’Neill coming into a full-forward line that also included Martin Penrose and Conor McAliskey.

McAliskey and the goalkeeper, Niall Morgan, are making their Championship debuts.

Harte makes a second change in personnel from the League final. Peter Harte is restored to the centre half-forward’s berth, allowing Joe McMahon to take up a sentry in the half-back line which means that Dermot Carlin misses out.

Aidan Cassidy has been struggling with an ankle injury of late but is named among the substitutes, but Ronan O’Neill misses out because of a hamstring injury.

Donegal have confirmed that they have named the same team as won the All-Ireland final in September (CLICK HERE FOR STORY).

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Tyrone (Ulster SFC v Donegal): Niall Morgan; PJ Quinn, Conor Clarke, Cathal McCarron; Justin McMahon, Joe McMahon, Conor Gormley; Colm Cavanagh, Sean Cavanagh; Matthew Donnelly, Peter Harte, Mark Donnelly; Martin Penrose, Stephen O’Neill, Conor McAliskey.

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