Colin Kelly has named locally based trio John Bingham, Tommy Durnin and Ryan Burns in the Louth GAA team to face Wicklow on Sunday at Parnell Park – as the Wee County bid to follow up their league promotion with a strong start in this year’s Leinster Championship.
The Louth manager hands first Championship starts to Darren Marks of Cooley Kickhams andNewtown Blues’ Kevin Carr in the backs but the Ardee representation that featured so heavily in the league campaign continues against Wicklow.
John Bingham starts at centre half back and Tommy Durnin as expected takes up his position in midfield. He is partenered with James Stewart of Dundalk Gaels. Ryan Burns starts in the full forward line.
Burns is Louth’s most reliable attacking outlet. Since bursting onto the scene three years ago, he has plundered 2-25 in nine Championship appearances, including 1-12 last year as Louth lost out to Meath in the Leinster last eight before succumbing to Derry in the qualifiers.
The Hunterstown Rovers man enjoyed a stellar league campaign in 2017 as Louth gained promotion from Division 3. He notched 3-22 in total as the Wee County finished second in the league table but lost out to Tipperary in the Croke Park showpiece.
Westerns’ Durnin returns to the Championship fold for the first time since making a big impact in the 2015 campaign. He missed last year’s Championship outings having spent the summer months in the United States, and the loss of his strength and power in midfield was a evident.
Bingham has forced his way into manager Kelly’s thoughts in the league campaign, the Ardee St Marys man emerging as a first choice pick as the year wore on. He has kept his place in the team at centre back while Mattock Rangers’ Adrian Reid is on the bench.