BY CHRIS MCNULTY
LEO McLoone has replaced the injured Neil Gallagher in the Donegal team for Sunday’s Ulster final against Down.
The return of McLoone is the only change to the side from that which beat Tyrone in the semi-final three weeks ago.
Midfielder Gallagher injured ankle ligaments playing a League game for his club Glenswilly and a visit to a specialist at Dublin’s Beacon Hospital last week confirmed his worst fears.
McLoone had started the games against Cavan and Derry, but made way for Rory Kavanagh ahead of the semi-final win over Tyrone.
However, the Glenties man has been re-instated to the team – and has been named at centre-half forward with a slght rejig seeing Ryan Bradley partner Rory Kavanagh at midfield.
McLoone has edged Martin McElhinney out for a place in the team that faces Down bidding to win Donegal’s first ever back-to-back Ulster titles.
“There are situations where people are left out but we’ve said all along it’s horses for courses,” McGuinness said.
“We know ourselves how we want to pick the team for us and how we want to pick it for the opposition. They understand we’re trying to win matches – to get another match – and if someone is left out it’s never ever personal.
“People have different jobs on different days, that’s the way I feel you have to do it. Put as much thought into it as possible and hope it works out.”
David Walsh had been a slight doubt after sustaining a slight hamstring injury in training last week.
He has recovered and retains his place in the half-forward line, while Martin O’Reilly has been named among the subs despite he too having been laid up with a hamstring problem,
Donegal (Ulster SFC final v Down): P Durcan; P McGrath, N McGee, F McGlynn; E McGee, K Lacey, A Thompson; R Bradley, R Kavanagh; David Walsh, L McLoone, M McHugh; P McBrearty, M Murphy, C McFadden. Subs: Michael Boyle, M McElhinney, Marty Boyle, T McKinley, C Toye, S Griffin, D McLaughlin, M O’Reilly, D Molloy, Declan Walsh, A Hanlon.