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2 debutants for Cavan and 4 for Armagh players before Ulster championship clash

18 year-old Ciaran O’Hanlon is named at centre-forward on the Armagh team despite never playing before for the county senior side.

Cavan attacker Martin Dunne.
Cavan attacker Martin Dunne.
Image: INPHO/James Crombie

CONOR GILSENAN AND Martin Dunne have been handed championship debuts for Cavan’s Ulster championship opener against Armagh next Sunday.

Gilsenan gets the nod to start in goal while Dunne, who has emerged as a strong attacking threat during the league, will start at full-forward.

The new Cavan number one Gilsenan was part of the county’s U21 side that won the Ulster championship this year and lost out to Cork in the All-Ireland semi-final last month.

He joins four other members of that U21 team in the starting line-up with Jason McLoughlin and Killian Clarke manning the corner-back berths while Jack Brady starts at centre-forward and Fergal Flanagan has been named at left half-forward.

The Cavan line-up draws heavily on the county’s successful U21 teams from recent years with corner-forward Niall McDermott having been a key player for the side that contested the 2011 All-Ireland U21 final against Galway.

Cavan must cope without cruciate victim Gearoid McKiernan but can call on David Givney, the star of Dublin IT’s Sigerson Cup success this year, at midfield.

CAVAN: Conor Gilsenan (Bailieborough Shamrocks); Jason McLoughlin (Shannon Gaels), Rory Dunne (Redhills), Killian Clarke (Shercock); James McEnroe (Ramor United), Alan Clarke (Kingscourt), Ronan Flanagan (Castlerahan); Damien O’Reilly (Belturbet), David Givney (Mountnugent); Cian Mackey (Castlerahan), Jack Brady (Ramor United), Feargal Flanagan (Butlersbridge); Niall McDermott (Ballinagh), Martin Dunne (Cavan Gaels), Eugene Keating (St Sylvester’s).

Cavan’s David Givney
Pic: INPHO/James Crombie

Meanwhile 18 year-old Ciaran O’Hanlon has been named at centre-forward for the Armagh team for the game despite never having featured for the county senior team before.

The Killeavy teenager is one of four rookies to be named by manager Paul Grimley in the side for the preliminary round clash which takes place in Kingspan Breffni Park at 2pm.

O’Hanlon was called up to the squad after impressing for the St Paul’s Bessbrook side that reached the Ulster Colleges MacRory Cup final earlier this year. He kicked 0-5 for the county’s minor team against Tyrone in the Ulster championship last year.

Other newcomers to championship football in the Armagh line-up include corner-back duo Paul McKeown and Mark Shields while Stephen Harold starts at midfield. Wing-backs Aaron Kernan and Ciaran McKeever and full-forward Jamie Clarke add strength and experience to the side.

Kieran Toner, Charlie Vernon, James Morgan, Niall McConville, Sean Clarke, John Kingham and Aiden Forker were all unavailable due to injury.

ARMAGH: Philip McEvoy (Dromintee); Paul McKeown (Crossmaglen Rangers), Declan McKenna (Armagh Harps), Mark Shields (Whitecross); Aaron Kernan (Crossmaglen Rangers), Brendan Donaghy (Clonmore), Ciaran McKeever (St Pat’s Cullyhanna); James Lavery (Maghery), Stephen Harold (Carrickcruppen); Caolan Rafferty (Granemore), Ciaran O’Hanlon (Killeavy), Kevin Dyas (Dromintee); Tony Kernan (Crossmaglen Rangers), Jamie Clarke (Crossmaglen Rangers), Stefan Forker (Maghery).

Armagh’s Jamie Clarke
Pic: INPHO/James Crombie

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Fintan O'Toole

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