By Denis Hurley
Michael Fennelly makes his first start of the year as one of a raft of changes to the Kilkenny side for Sunday’s Allianz Hurling League Division 1 quarter-final clash with Offaly at Nowlan Park (3.45pm).
With the All-Ireland champions overwhelming favourites against the side which finished fourth in Division 1B, manager Brian Cody has opted for rotation.
Goalkeeper Eoin Murphy and Colin Fennelly return from injury while Robert Lennon, Conor O’Shea, Kevin Kelly, Liam Blanchfield, Jonjo Farrell and John Power all come into the team too.
Goalkeeper Anthony Nash returns to the Cork side for the Division 1A relegation play-off with Galway at Pearse Stadium, with the Rebels making six changes in total from the loss to Tipperary.
Nash displaces Patrick Collins, who had played in the previous two games, with Damien Cahalane and Lorcán McLoughlin coming in for Killian Burke and Shane O’Neill respectively in defence.
William Egan and Daniel Kearney form a new midfield instead of John Cronin and Paul Haughney, with Séamus Harnedy returning from injury in attack, Luke O’Farrell missing out.
There is also a change of goalkeeper for Tipperary, who face Clare at Cusack Park, as Darragh Mooney of Éire Óg Annacarty is given a league debut as Darren Gleeson sits out.
Up front, Séamus Callanan returns at full-forward for his first start, having being introduced at half-time against Cork, while Dan McCormack comes in at centre forward. Kieran Morris and Adrian Morris miss out.
Meanwhile, PJ O'Mullan Jnr has reportedly stepped down as Antrim hurling manager after less than five months in the job. The Ulster side had failed to challenge in Division 2A, losing their last three games.
CLARE (HL v Tipperary): P Kelly (Inagh-Kilnamona); C O’Doherty (Crusheen), C Dillon (Crusheen), P Flanagan (Ballyea); B Bugler (Whitegate), C Cleary (St Joseph’s Miltown/Kilmaley), P O’Connor (Tubber); D Reidy (Éire Óg), C Ryan (Cratloe); A Cunningham (Wolfe Tones na Sionna), B Duggan (Clarecastle), J Conlon (Clonlara); C Galvin (Clonlara), D Honan (Clonlara), C McGrath (Cratloe).
CORK (HL v Galway): A Nash (Kanturk); D Cahalane (St Finbarr’s), S McDonnell (Glen Rovers), C O'Sullivan (Sarsfields); C Murphy (Mallow), C Joyce (Na Piarsaigh), L Mcloughlin (Kanturk); W Egan (Kilbrin), D Kearney (Sarsfields); B Lawton (Castlemartyr), C Lehane (Midleton), B Cooper (Youghal); A Cadogan (Douglas), S Harnedy (St Ita's), P Horgan (Glen Rovers). Subs: P Collins (Ballinhassig), K Burke (Midleton), C Buckley (Na Piarsaigh), S O'Neill (Bishopstown), N Cashman (Blackrock), M Coleman (Blarney), J Cronin (Lisgoold), W Leahy (Aghada), D Brosnan (Glen Rovers), S Moylan (Douglas), D Fitzgibbon (Charleville).
DUBLIN (HL v Limerick): C Dooley (Ballyboden St Enda’s); E O’Donnell (Whitehall Colmcille), C O’Callaghan (Cuala), O Gough (Cuala); S Barrett (Na Fianna), L Rushe (St Pat’s Palmerstown), C Crummey (Lucan Sarsfields); D O’Connell (Cuala), J McCaffrey (Lucan Sarsfields); S McGrath (Kilmacud Crokes), N McMorrow (Ballyboden St Enda’s), D Treacy (Cuala); D O’Callaghan (Ballyboden St Enda’s), M Schutte (Cuala), E Dillon (Naomh Fionnbarra).
KILKENNY (HL v Offaly): E Murphy (Glenmore); P Murphy (Danesfort), R Lennon (Bennettsbridge), S Prendergast (Clara); C O’Shea (Clara), K Joyce (Rower-Inistioge), C Buckley (Dicksboro); M Fennelly (Ballyhale Shamrocks), L Ryan (Clara); W Walsh (Tullogher-Rosbercon), C Fennelly (Ballyhale Shamrocks), K Kelly (St Patricks’); L Blanchfield (Bennettsbridge), J Farrell (Thomastown), J Power (Carrickshock). Subs: R Reid (Ballyhale Shamrocks), J Tyrrell (James Stephens), J Holden (Ballyhale Shamrocks), P Walsh (Tullaroan), B Kennedy (St Lachtain’s), D Cody (James Stephens), TJ Reid (Ballyhale Shamrocks), C Bolger (Clara), J Maher (St Lachtain’s), C Martin (Emeralds), M Malone (Mullinavat).
LIMERICK (HL v Dublin): N Quaid (Effin); S Hickey (Murroe-Boher), R McCarthy (Blackrock), R English (Doon); W McNamara (Adare), D Byrnes (Patrickswell), R Lynch (Na Piarsaigh); G O’Mahony (Kilmallock), P Browne (Bruff); B Nash (South Liberties), J Ryan (Kilmallock), C Lynch (Patrickswell); G Mulcahy (Kilmallock), K Downes (Na Piarsaigh), S Dowling (Na Piarsaigh).
TIPPERARY (HL v Clare): D Mooney (Éire Óg Annacarty); C Barrett (Holycross-Ballycahill), J Barry (Upperchurch-Drombane), C O’Brien (Éire Óg Annacarty); B Heffernan (Nenagh Éire Óg), R Maher (Thurles Sarsfields), P Maher (Thurles Sarsfields); B Maher (Borrisoleigh), M Breen (Ballina); N McGrath (Loughmore-Castleiney), D McCormack (Borrisoleigh), N O’Meara (Kilruane MacDonaghs); J O’Dwyer (Killenaule), S Callanan (Drom & Inch), J McGrath (Loughmore-Castleiney). Subs: D Gleeson (Portroe), K Bergin (Killenaule), A Coffey (Nenagh Éire Óg), J Forde (Silvermines), T Hamill (Moyne-Templetuohy), S Kennedy (St Mary’s), S O’Brien (Ballina), D Quinn (Nenagh Éire Óg), G Ryan (Templederry Kenyons), W Ryan (Clonakenny), P Stapleton (Borrisoleigh).