KILKENNY have included four senior panelists in their team to play Wexford in the Leinster under-21 hurling championship in Nowlan Park tomorrow evening (Wednesday), writes John Knox.
Recent National League medal winners, Cillian Buckley, who has been nursing a hamstring injury, Richie Doyle, Padraig Walsh and Willie Phelan have been included by manager, Richie Mulrooney, as the Cats bid to halt the Slaneysiders bid to reach their third final in-a-row.
“We will need everyone, and we will need to be at our best too if we are to win,” insisted Kilkenny under-21 manager, Richie Mulrooney.
There is a huge risk involved for Buckley, who was unable to train flat out with the senior squad at the weekend because of the hamstring injury picked up in the last round of the league with his club Dicksboro. He was making good progress in terms of fitness, but last week the hamstring became a bit tight again.
Both Buckley and Doyle look sure to be named by senior manager, Brian Cody, in the team to play Dublin in the eagerly awaited Leinster semi-final in Portlaois on Saturday. Facing two do-or-die matches in a three day period would be huge in any event, but with Buckley nursing an injury it will be a fingers crossed situation for him that he comes through without aggravating the problem.
This group of Kilkenny players contested the All-Ireland minor final of 2009, but they were bettered by Galway in the Croke Park showdown.
Kilkenny (under-21 H v Wexford) Dylan Walsh (Thomastown); Jason Corcoran (John Lockes), Willie Phelan (Dunnamaggin), Joe Lyng (Rower-Inistioge); Luke Harney (Kilmacow), Richie Doyle (Barrow Rangers), Brian Kennedy (St Lachtain’s); Geoff Brennan (St Patrick’s), Ollie Walsh (Dicksboro); Cathal Kenny (Barrow Rangers), Padraig Walsh (Tullaroan), Cillian Buckley (Dicksboro); Ger Aylward (Glenmore), Walter Walsh (Tullogher-Rosbercon), Kevin Kelly, capt (St Patrick’s).
Subs – Richie Reid (Ballyhale Shamrocks), Pat O’Carroll (Lisdowney), Owen McGrath (John Lockes), Ian Duggan (Mullinavat), James Gannon (St Patrick’s), Sean Kehoe (Young Irelands), Paul Buggy (Tullaroan), James Cassin (Rower-Inistioge), Michael Brennan (St Patrick’s), John Power (Carrickshock), Martin Gaffney (Dicksboro), Sean Phelan (Lisdowney), Stephen Staunton (St Patrick’s), Conor Tobin (Fenians), Johnny Hayes (Kilmacow), David Glynn (Dicksboro), Paddy Butler (O’Loughlin’s), Danny Kenny (Dicksboro), Canice Maher (St Martin’s).