Local duo Tommy Durnin and Ryan Burns have been named in the Louth team to take on Laois in Saturday’s Allianz National Football League opener in Portlaoise.
The Westerns GFC midfielder and the Hunterstown Rovers forward have been handed starting berths by manager Colin Kelly as the Wee County look to follow up their run to the O’Byrne Cup final last month with a strong start in Division Three.
Durnin started all of Louth’s games en route to last Sunday’s final in Drogheda, including their win over Meath in the last four, and was expected to be given the nod against Laois after impressing on his return to the senior fold this year.
He will partner Andy McDonnell of Newtown Blues in the centre of the park. There is no place in the starting line-up for Ardee St Marys duo John Bingham or Ronan Carroll, nor Mattock Rangers back Adrian Reid who captained the side last year. Kelly has made a total of three changes Sunday’s final loss.
Forward Burns made his first Louth appearance of the campaign against Dublin as Louth lost the O’Byrne Cup final last weekend after competed in the earlier rounds of the competition with DCU. The Hunterstown man played 30 minutes in all and has now returned to the starting XI for Louth’s first third tier test since last season’s promotion.
Burns top scored for Louth in the league triumph with 1-22 and his prolific form in county colours over the last three years will have been what has earned him a place in the team ahead of Ronan Holcroft and the emerging Sam Mulroy of St Kevins.
Laois were relegated from Division Two in 2016 and have excluded several high profile players from their XV. The match will be broadcast live on eir Sport 1 on Saturday (February 4th) with a 7pm throw-in.
22 counties will feature in eir Sport’s Allianz National League coverage this year across 23 games and five triple headers. You can find out more and subscribe to the eir Sport pack – which includes BT Sport – on https://www.eirsport.ie.
LOUTH: Craig Lynch – Naomh Mairtin, Padraig Rath – Dreadnots, Patrick Reilly – St Brides, Kevin Carr – Newtown Blues, Derek Maguire – Dundalk Young Irelands, Liam Dullaghan – Sean O’Mahonys, Anthony Williams – Dreadnots, Tommy Durnin – Westerns, Andy McDonnell – Newtown Blues, James Stewart – Dundalk Gaels, Pauric Smith – Dreadnots, Bevan Duffy – St Fechins, Ruairi Moore – O’Raghallaighs, Jim McEneaney – Geraldines, Ryan Burns – Hunterstown Rovers.