BY CHRIS MCNULTY
BUNCRANA teenager Darach O’Connor has been named to make his debut for the Donegal senior football side in Sunday’s Dr McKenna Cup opener against Tyrone (O’Donnell Park, throw-in 2pm).
O’Connor was the captain of the Donegal minor team in 2013 and was called up by Jim McGuinness who has handed the youngster a starting berth for this weekend’s clash.
O’Connor has been named in a strong starting XV by McGuinness. O’Connor is the only debutant in a side that contains eight starters from the 2012 All-Ireland final, including Frank McGlynn who will make his 99th Donegal appearance this weekend.
O’Connor lines up alongside Michael Murphy and Colm McFadden in the full-forward line.
A son of former Roscommon star John ‘Jigger’ O’Connor, the youngster has been showing good form and hit an early goal in a challenge win over Roscommon on Sunday.
Another promising youngster, Odhrán MacNiallais has been named alongside Rory Kavanagh at centrefield. The Gaoth Dobhair man was a member of the squad in 2013, but had only limited game time.
The Tyrone manager, Mickey Harte, has named three debutants for the O’Donnell Park clash, with Conan Grugan, Shay McGuigan and Emmett McKenna making their first senior starts for the Red Hands.
Niall Morgan returns in goal having recovered from the season-ending knee ligament injury he sustained in June.
Donegal: Paul Durcan; Frank McGlynn, Eamon McGee, Eamon Doherty; Anthony Thompson, Leo McLoone, Declan Walsh; Rory Kavanagh, Odhrán MacNiallais; Gary McFadden, Martin O’Reilly, Dermot Molloy; Darach O’Connor, MIchael Murphy, Colm McFadden.
Tyrone: Niall Morgan; Aidan McCrory, Conor Clarke, Barry Tierney; Ciaran McGinley, Danny McBride, Tiernan McCann; Plunkett Kane, Conan Grugan; Niall McKenna, Shay McGuigan, Emmett McKenna; Patrick McNeice, Matthew Donnelly, Ronan O’Neill.