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Johnny Flynn replaces Mooney in Down's only change for Tipperary Game

Saturday 8th June 2019

Down will hope to keep their summer alive by overcoming Tipperary in Sunday's All-Ireland Football qualifier against Tipperary at Pairc Esler.

The Mourne men face the task of regrouping from the 2-17 to 3-13 Ulster SFC defeat by Armagh when they appeared in control early in extra-time.

Manager Paddy Tally will be without the influential Caolan Mooney following his controversial red card against Armagh.

Johnny Flynn replaces Mooney in Down's only change from the Armagh game.

The Premier County were All-Ireland semi-finalists as recently as 2016 when their summer campaign included a quarter-final win over Galway but they have struggled badly this year and Down will go in as favourites.

Tipp suffered relegation to Division Three during this year's Football League before crashing to a shock 3-11 to 1-10 home defeat by unfancied Limerick in the Munster Championship.

A struggling Cork team's subsequent 3-18 to 0-6 win over Limerick put Tipperary's performance at Semple Stadium last month in even sharper focus.

Manager Liam Kearns this week described his team's display against Limerick as "terrible", although he attributed much of the blame towards himself after his risk of giving first games of the season to Robbie Kiely, Shane O'Connell, Bill Maher and Josh Keane backfired.

However, Tipperary's footballing pedigree over recent years suggests that Down have no business under-estimating Kearns' side.

The Tipp squad includes several highly talented performers - including a number who helped the county reach the 2015 All-Ireland Under-21 Final where they were narrowly defeated by Tyrone.

Kiely and Conor Sweeney are among classy Tipp operators although whether the Premier County will have the patience to deal with Down's expected defensive approach remains to be seen.

Tipperary have an injury concern over Gavin Whelan who has a hamstring problem.

The counties last met in the football championship in 2012 when Down won a round-four qualifier 1-13 to 0-11 in Mullingar while the Mourne men edged their last league encounter by three points in Newry a year ago.

Down: R Burns; D O'Hagan, R Wells, G Collins; R McAleenan, K McKernan, D Guinness; J Flynn, C Poland; C Francis, J Johnston, C Maginn; P Havern, D O'Hare, C Harrison.

Subs: M Hynes, B McArdle, P Laverty, R Mallon, J Guinness, C McGrady, B O'Hagan, P Devlin, C Quinn, O McCabe, C Harney.