Walsh injury blow for Waterford ahead of U-21 clash with Kingdom

WATERFORD will be without Shane Walsh, their goal-scoring hero from last year's historic Munster U21 football final victory over Kerry, when the sides renew acquaintances in the semi-final in Killarney tomorrow night (7.30pm).

Walsh sustained a hamstring injury in the second-half of Saturday's west divisional final as his club, Nire, defeated champions Ballinacourty.

Waterford captain John Hurney (Ballinacourty) also retired injured in that game but has been passed fit.

Waterford will boast seven players from the side which sensationally won the provincial title for the first time a year ago, and in all there are 10 members of the 2003 panel included in the starting line-up.

The best known among them is midfielder Michael "Brick" Walsh, who has already won a Munster senior hurling medal with the Decies.

Limerick, who defeated Tipperary in round one, make two changes for their semi-final against Cork in Páirc Uí Chaoimh, also tomorrow night (7.30pm).

Raymond Hayes comes in for Vinnie O'Connell at midfield while Paul Kinnerk replaces the injured Pat Ranahan at left corner-forward. The Shannonsiders will have senior full-back Johnny McCarthy manning the same position.

The Leesiders will be without Brian O'Regan, who sustained a serious finger injury in a club championship game.

Meanwhile, the Waterford team to play Leitrim in the All-Ireland junior football final, which will be played in Thurles as a curtain-raiser to the All-Ireland SHC replay between Clare and Kilkenny, shows two changes from the side that scored a comprehensive victory over Lancashire in the semi-final.

Corner-back Niall Barry and wing- forward Kieran Whelan were both unavailable for the game but are now recalled to the exclusion of Jimmy Sheehan and Anthony Power respectively.

Five members of the team, including goalkeeper Anthony Kirwan, who was captain, featured in the one-point victory over Meath in the 1999 All-Ireland final Waterford's first national football title.

WATERFORD (U21 FC v Kerry): D. Hickey (Brickey Rangers); K. Connery (Clashmore); E. Walsh (St Olivers); T. O'Gorman (Nire); J. Hurney (Ballinacourty) capt; M. Whelan (Tramore); P. Lynch (Ballinacourty); M. Walsh (Stradbally); T. Power (Bonmahon); M. Donnelly (Portlaw/St Mollerans); M. Power (Tramore); L. Ó Lionain (Gaeltacht); B. Costelloe (Tramore); B. Harty (Ardmore); S. Fleming (Clashmore).

CORK (U21 FC v LIMERICK): K. Murphy (Boherbue); M. Prout (Shamrocks), D. Óg O'Donovan (St Nicks), B. Crowley (Aghada); N. O'Riordan (Glenville), P. Nealon (O'Donovan Rossa), E. O'Connor (Kildorrery); D. O'Sullivan (Dromtarriffe), D. Coughlan (Ilen Rovers); C. O'Riordan (Mallow), P. Kelly (Ballincollig), J. Hayes (Carbery Rangers); J. O'Shea (Lisgould), T. Twomey (Newcestown), K. O'Sullivan (Ilen Rovers). Subs. S. Murphy (Lyre), B. Twomey (Nemo Rangers), C. O'Neill (Shamrocks), K. Murphy (Erins Own), A. O'Connor (St Colms), R. Long (O'Donovan Rossa), R. Hoare (Kilnamartyra), D. Burns (Castlehaven), E. Barry (Carrigaline).

LIMERICK (U21 FC v Cork): M. Jones (Galtee Gaels); S. Fox (Ballylanders), J. McCarthy (St Kierans), D. McAuley (Monaleen); A. Lane (St Senans), P. Browne (Fr Caseys), E. Benson (Banogue); R. Hayes (Ballysteen), D. Horan (Mungret); S. Buckley (Drom/Broadford), J. O'Connell (Pallasgreen), G. Noonan (Drom/Broadford); J. Lyons (Mountcollins), K. O'Connor (Fr Caseys), P. Kinnerk (Monaleen); Subs. P. O'Halloran (do), B. O'Grady (Mungret), A. McAntee (Monaleen), B. Fitzpatrick (do), J. Carroll (St Senans), V. O'Connell (Galbally), P. Keating (Monaleen), J. Ryan (Galbally), P. Ranahan (Ballysteen).

WATERFORD (JF v Leitrim): A. Kirwan (Kilrossanty); N. Barry (John Mitchels); R. Power (Kilrossanty); M. Byrne (Nire) capt.; D. Ryan (do); L. Hurney (Ballinacourty); M. Kiely (Kilrossanty); M. O'Brien (St Saviours); S. Dempsey, (Colligan Emmets); R. Hennessy (Kill); D. Kirwan (John Mitchels); K. Whelan (Bonmahon); E. Doherty (St Saviours); P. Foley (Gaultier); J. Kiely (Kilrossanty).

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