O Donnchadha return a boost as Meath set for tricky trip north

Steven Clynch's first selection as manager of the Meath senior hurlers has been revealed on gaa.ie and shows six changes from the side that lost the closing game of NHL Div 2A, also against Down in Ballycran on 16th April.

Since that defeat Meath hurling has undergone something of an upheaval with Seoirse Bulfin and his management team stepping down and Kilmessan legend Clynch stepping in along with Kiltale's Trevor Cummins and Trim's Declan Murray.

Three of the six players who miss out from the last game, Shane Whitty, Ronan Byrne and William Gleeson, aren't named in the matchday panel, while Domhnall Rogers, Michael Burke and Jack Walsh are listed among the substitutes.

Daire and Tom Shine, both of whom are expected to feature for Meath in tonight's Leinster u-20 clash with Kildare in Hawkfield, come into the starting line-up for tomorrow's trip to Ballycran (2pm).

Niall McLarnon, Sean Martin, joint captain Sean Quigley and Eamon Og O Donnchadha also return to the starting line up with O Donnchadha set for his first start of the year having returned from travels.

The teams for Saturday's Joe McDonagh Cup opener are:

Meath - Charlie Ennis; Jarlath Ennis, Seán Geraghty, Daire Shine; Kris Gorman, James Toher, James Kelly; Simon Ennis, Niall McLarnon; Tom Shine, Seán Quigley, Seán Martin; Padraig O'Hanrahan, Nicky Potterton, Éamon Óg Ó Donnchadha. Subs - Philly O'Brien, David Murtagh, Mark Horan, Michael Burke, Adam Kelly, Ciarán Lonergan, Domhnall Rogers, Jamie Leavy, Jack Walsh, Eoin Donegan, Josh Wall.

Down - Stephen Keith; Matt Conlan, Conor Cassidy, Dara Mallon; Tom Murray, Caolan Taggart, Ruairí McCrickard; Donal Hughes, Tim Prenter; Paul Sheehan, Eoghan Sands, Liam Savage; Daithí Sands, Chris Egan, Pearse Óg McCrickard. Subs - Pearce Smyth, Marc Fisher, Niall McFarland, Finn Turpin, Barry Trainor, Phelim Savage, Aodhan Furlong, Cormac McAllister, Tom McGrattan, Oisín McManus, James Dougan.