Nugent gets the nod for Clare

TWENTY-TWO year-old Barry Nugent from the Eire Og club in Ennis will make his senior championship debut for Clare in Sunday’s Guinness Munster hurling semi-final against Tipperary at the Limerick Gaelic Grounds.

A former minor and U21 star, Nugent shone this season with Limerick IT, who won the Fitzgibbon Cup for the first time in their history.

Nugent came on as a substitute in the League final against Kilkenny and is preferred to Conor Plunkett at left half-forward.

Apart from the introduction of Nugent, the Clare selectors have also made a number of positional switches from the side that lost to the Cats in the league decider.

Diarmuid McMahon moves to right half-forward with Tony Griffin taking over the centre-forward duties. Griffin, who had just returned from Canada before the League final, lined out in the left corner-forward position on that occasion.

Tony Carmody, who started the Kilkenny game on the left wing, is now chosen at right corner-forward with Alan Quinn moving over to the opposite corner.

Alan Markham is selected at right half-back but is still troubled by a hamstring injury and will undergo a late fitness test.

Dublin U21 manager Tommy Naughton is to take temporary charge of the county’s senior hurlers until the County Board name a long-term replacement for Humphrey Kelleher.

Kelleher was sacked last week after failing to win a game with the Metropolitans this year. Former manager Michael O’Grady has been strongly linked with a return to the post, while former Limerick boss Padjoe Whelahan could also be a candidate.

Wexford’s Nigel Higgins will miss the opening defence of their Leinster SHC title against Laois week following a car crash.

Higgins sustained injuries to his shoulder and knee in the accident on Sunday night.

Elsewhere, Darragh Ryan made a return to inter-county action when he lined out in a challenge against Galway on Monday evening, a game played over three 25 minute periods, during which both managers used their full squad of players. Ryan came through the game unscathed.

Wexford won the game 3-21 to 1-26.

Meanwhile, Dublin have named an unchanged side for Sunday’s Leinster SFC quarter-final clash with Meath at Croke Park.

Shane Ryan is expected to have proven his fitness following a hamstring injury and will take his place at midfield alongside Ciaran Whelan.

Declan O’Mahony, who came on as a late second-half substitute in the opening round victory over Longford, was ruled out with a shoulder injury.

The Meath team will be announced later in the week.

Carlow introduce three new players to senior county football for their opening game in the Leinster championship against League finalists Wexford at Croke Park on Sunday.

Called up are left half-back Ritchie Synott, midfielder Patrick Walsh and centre-forward Ray Walker. Walsh will link up with his brother Thomas in the centre.

The Carlow selectors have left a vacancy at left corner-back in the hope that Paul Cashin will come through a fitness test.

Monaghan have a number of injury worries in the run-up to Sundays big game in Clones against Derry.

Manager Seamus McEneaney has been forced to leave the right half-forward position vacant as he awaits a fitness later in the week on James McElroy.

McEneaney is already without Rory Woods who is suspended following his dismissal against Derry in the Allianz League Div. 2 semi-final back on April 24.

Mark Daly is ruled out with an Achilles injury.

CLARE (SH v Tipperary): D. Fitzgerald, F. Lohan, B. Lohan, G. O’Grady; A. Markham, S. Mc Mahon, G. Quinn; B. O’Connell, C. Lynch; D. McMahon, T. Griffen, B. Nugent; T. Carmody, N. Gilligan, A. Quinn.

DUBLIN (SF v Meath) S. Cluxton; P. Griffin, P. Christie, S. O’Shaughnessy; P. Casey, B. Cahill, C. Goggins; C. Whelan, S. Ryan; C. Moran, A. Brogan, B. Cullen; J. Sherlock, C. Keaney, T. Quinn.

CARLOW (SF v Wexford): J. Brennan; C. McCarthy, B. Farrell, A. N. Other; J. Hayden, L. Murphy, R. Synott; T. Walsh, P. Walsh; B. Carbery, R. Walker, P. Hickey; S. Rea, M. Carpenter, M. Brennan.

MONAGHAN (SF v Derry): S. Duffy; G. McQuaid, V. Corey, C. Flanagan; D. Freeman, J. Coyle, S. Gollogly; D. Clerkin, .F. Duffy; A. N. Other, .P. Finlay, N. Corrigan; T. Raymond, T. Ronaghan, D. McArdle.

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