O'Loughlin's pair Deegan and Lawlor man central defensive roles for Kilkenny

John Knox

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John Knox

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O'Loughlin's pair Deegan and Lawlor man central defensive roles for Kilkenny

Huw Lawlor

O’Loughlin Gaels pair, Paddy Deegan and Huw Lawlor, will man the two central defensive positions on the Kilkenny team in tomorrow evening’s (Saturday 7pm) opening game in the Leinster senior hurling championship against Dublin in Nowlan Park.

Manager Brian Cody and his selectors were missing a batch of players because of injury, and for that reason few had a clue what shape the team might take.

Young Lawlor will make his senior championship debut in the No. 6 position. The towering defender was showing real promise in the National League when he was cut down by injury. An ankle injury sidelined him for weeks.

He missed most of the League campaign and also the opening round of the local league on the weekend of April 7 against Mullinavat.

However, he returned for the following game 13 days later against All-Ireland club champions, Ballyhale Shamrocks, and his form was very good.

Deegan, who has played at corner-back and in midfield for Kilkenny in the past, will fill the No. 3 position for the first time in the championship.

Experienced Tullaroan player, Padraig Walsh, who was tried at full-back last season, will form a new midfield partnership with Glenmore’s Alan Murphy.

Young Shamrocks star and club player of the year, Adrian Mullen has been picked at wing-forward.  

Former Hurler of the Year, Richie Hogan, who has been struggling with a back injury all season, has been listed among the subs.

Kilkenny (SH v Dublin) - Darren Brennan; Paul Murphy, Paddy Deegan, Tommy Walsh; Enda Morrissey, Huw Lawlor, Conor Fogarty; Padraig Walsh, Alan Murphy; Adrian Mullen, Walter Walsh, TJ Reid (capt); Billy Ryan, Colin Fennelly, Ger Aylward.

Subs - Richie Reid, Jason Cleere, Conor Browne, Michaele Carey, Richie Leahy, Richie Hogan, John Donnelly, Martin Keoghan, Liam Blanchfield, Bill Sheehan, Ger Malone.

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