Matthew Fitzpatrick (right) is named at centre half-forward in the Antrim team
Ulster SFC first round: Donegal v Antrim
Venue: MacCumhaill Park, Ballybofey Date: Sunday, 21 May Throw-in: 16:00 BST Coverage: Full deferred on BBC Two NI at 19:00; live commentary on Radio Ulster 1341 MW and BBC Sport website

Antrim’s Matthew Fitzpatrick will start in Sunday’s Ulster SFC game against Donegal after successfully appealing against a 48-week ban on Wednesday.

Fitzpatrick is named at centre half-forward in a side which includes eight championship debutants.

With James Laverty missing because of injury, goalkeeper Chris Kerr will captain the team.

Donegal will be strong favourites against a Saffrons side relegated to Division Four of the league.

Five of the six Antrim defenders will be making championship debuts with Conor Hamill, Paddy Gallagher and Peter Healy forming an entirely new full-back line and Declan Lynch and Paddy McAleer named in the half-backs.

Midfielder Stephen Beatty is another newcomer while Ruairi McCann and Brendan Bradley are handed debuts in attack.

In addition, eight of the 11 Antrim substitutes have also yet to play in the championship.

These are: Andrew Hasson, Odhran Eastwood, Pat Brannigan, Domhnaill Nugent, Eunan Walsh, Stephen Tierney, Seamus McGarry and Conor Small.

Donegal boss Rory Gallagher has made four championship debutants in his starting line-up.

Jamie Brennan and Michael Carroll are the newcomers in attack with St Eunan’s Caolan Ward named at left half-back and Cloughaneely’s Jason McGee also handed a debut at midfield.

Corner-back Eoghan Ban Gallagher will also be making his first championship start.

With Gallagher and Ward included in defence, Karl Lacey, Martin McElhinney and Mark McHugh have to be content with places on the bench.

Donegal: MA McGinley; P McGrath, N McGee, EB Gallagher; M Reilly, F McGlynn, C Ward; J McGee, C Thompson; M Carroll, H McFadden, R McHugh; P McBrearty, M Murphy, J Brenna.

Antrim: C Kerr; C Hamill, P Gallagher, P Healy; P McBride, D Lynch, P McAleer; S McVeigh, S Beatty; R McCann, M Fitzpatrick, M Sweeney; CJ McGourty, B Bradley, T McCann. Subs: A Hasson, K O’Boyle, N Delargy, O Eastwood, D Nugent, J Dowling, C Small, S Tierney, E Walsh, S McGarry, P Branagan


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