Hurling team news: Limerick name same team to face Cork, two changes for Wexford’s do-or-die match against Cats
John Kiely would appear to have kept change to the bare minimum as the Limerick hurlers seek to preserve their four-in-a-row dreams at home to Cork on Sunday.
The three-in-a-row Liam MacCarthy champions must win their final Munster round-robin outing at the Gaelic Grounds to guarantee qualification for the All-Ireland series.
Limerick had earlier announced that their team would be released on all social media outlets at 9pm on Friday evening – but, as has become standard, Croke Park has now released all the official match-day squads ahead of the weekend action.
And, if only on that yardstick, Limerick players will all sport the same jersey numbers worn for last Sunday’s dramatic deadlock with Tipperary.
The registered squad replicates last weekend, when Peter Casey was named to start but lost his place before throw-in to Cathal O’Neill. Once again O’Neill is listed in the subs with Casey at No 15.
Embattled hurling boss Darragh Egan has made two changes to his starting team for arguably the most important championship fixture in Wexford’s history.
The Tipp native has responded to last Sunday’s calamitous defeat to Westmeath by drafting in an all-changed midfield, albeit he hasn’t quite wielded the axe for the Wexford Park visit of arch-rivals Kilkenny.
Diarmuid O’Keeffe (a late sub during their Westmeath implosion) returns in the engine-room alongside the recalled Kevin Foley. Jack O’Connor switches to wing-forward while Cathal Dunbar and Mikie Dwyer both drop to the bench.
Wexford faces the very real threat of hurling Armageddon – relegation to the Joe McDonagh Cup. Defeat to Kilkenny (who are 4/9 favourites with the bookies) coupled with an Antrim victory in Westmeath would leave the six-time All-Ireland winners bottom of the six-team Leinster table – and destined for the second tier.
Egan must hope that a potentially explosive inside trio of Rory O’Connor, Conor McDonald and Lee Chin can rescue Wexford’s season from a disastrous denouement.
Meanwhile, Micheál Donoghue has announced an unchanged line-up as the Dublin hurlers seek the Croke Park victory that could propel them into the Leinster SHC final at the expense of their manager’s native Galway.
On paper at least, Donoghue has kept faith with the 15 who started in Nowlan Park where they offered dogged resistance before eventually losing to Kilkenny by 0-27 to 0-21.
The Sky Blues have already secured qualification to the All-Ireland series, but beating Galway on Sunday would see them leapfrog the Tribesmen and into the provincial final on the proviso that Kilkenny don’t lose in Wexford.
Meanwhile, Tipperary has named an unchanged team for the county's final Munster round robin tie with Waterford at Thurles on Sunday, which has a 4.0 throw-in.
Liam Cahill’s side is aiming for a place in the Munster final two weeks later against Clare, having drawn with All-Ireland champions Limerick in a thrilling fourth round encounter last Sunday.
Top scorer Jason Forde remains unavailable, having missed the Limerick game with a hamstring injury suffered in the draw with Cork.
Bonner Maher, who returned to the side last Sunday, retains his place at centre forward and Tipp also include goalkeeper Rhys Shelly who took over from Barry Hogan for the Limerick match and made a positive impression.
Offaly hurlers have restored their frontline troops for Saturday’s Joe McDonagh Cup final, making 12 changes for their Croke Park showdown with Carlow.
Cillian Kiely and Eoghan Cahill are both back while U-20 captain Charlie Mitchell also starts at corner-forward.
LIMERICK (SHC v Cork): N Quaid; M Casey, D Morrissey, B Nash; D Byrnes, D Hannon, K Hayes; D O’Donovan, W O’Donoghue; G Hegarty, C Lynch, T Morrissey; A Gillane, S Flanagan, P Casey.
KILKENNY (SHC v Wexford): E Murphy; M Butler, H Lawlor, T Walsh; D Blanchfield, R Reid, D Corcoran; A Mullen, P Deegan; T Phelan, J Donnelly, B Ryan; M Keoghan, TJ Reid, E Cody.
GALWAY (SHC v Dublin): E Murphy; J Grealish, G McInerney, D Morrissey; P Mannion, D Burke, F Burke; J Cooney, T Monaghan; R Glennon, E Niland, C Cooney; K Cooney, C Whelan, D McLoughlin.
WESTMEATH (SHC v Antrim): N Conaty; D Egerton, C Shaw, J Bermingham; T Doyle, A Craig, R Greville; C Boyle, C McCormack; D Glennon, D McNicholas, N O’Brien; O McCabe, J Boyle, C Doyle.
ANTRIM (SHC): R Elliott; P Burke, R McGarry, N O’Connor; G Walsh, E Campbell, C Bohill; J McNaughton, M Bradley; K Molloy, C Johnston, E O’Neill; C Cunning, N McKenna, S Elliott.
WEXFORD (SHC v Kilkenny): J Lawlor; S Reck, L Ryan, C Devitt; S Donohoe, M O’Hanlon, I Carty; D O’Keeffe, K Foley; Jack O’Connor, L Óg McGovern, O Foley; R O’Connor, C McDonald, L Chin.
DUBLIN (SHC v Galway): S Brennan; P Doyle, E O’Donnell, P Smyth; C Donohoe, C Burke, D Gray; M Grogan, C O’Leary; D Sutcliffe, D Burke, C Boland; S Currie, C O’Sullivan, P Crummey.
TIPPERARY (SHC v Waterford): R Shelly, C Barrett, M Breen, R Maher, E Connolly, B O’Mara, S Kennedy, D McCormack, A Tynan, C Stakelum, P Maher, N McGrath, J Morris, G O’Connor, M Kehoe.
OFFALY (McDonagh Cup v Carlow): S Corcoran; D Maher, C Burke, B Conneely; D King, J Sampson, K Sampson; S Bourke, D Nally; C Kiely, J Clancy, A Cleary; C Mitchell, B Duignan, E Cahill.