Limerick hurlers welcome back dual stars

LIMERICK football boss Liam Kearns has released Stephen Lucey and Conor Fitzgerald from his panel to line out for the county hurlers in their NHL phase two clash with Waterford at the Gaelic Grounds on Sunday.

Their availability after an almost two year absence from the hurling squad has been hastened by the footballers non involvement in competitive action until they open their championship campaign in June. New hurling boss Joe McKenna and his football counterpart met recently to resolve the long standing dual player controversy.

Lucey, who will play in a new position at corner back against Waterford, and Fitzgerald will continue to be available for football selection.

David Breen, who made his county hurling debut against Antrim, is left out on Sunday, as is fellow debutante Ciaran O’Dwyer and three times All-Ireland under 21 medal winner Andrew O’Shaughnessy.

The Tipperary Senior Hurling team to play Clare in the National Hurling League on Sunday in Semple Stadium shows three changes from the side which lost to Cork in the last round. Tom King and Francis Devanney lose out due to injury and Conor O’Mahoney and Paul Kelly come in to form a new midfield partnership. Mark O’Leary starts at wing-forward in place of Pa Morrissey.

Antrim’s most exciting forward Paul Branniff is all set to make a comeback to the big-time when the ‘men from the Glens’ face Laois in their relegation battle on Sunday. Braniff has been out of action since undergoing a cruciate ligament operation last August. But centre back Gary Savage is likely to lose out because of a hamstring injury he picked up in the recent game against Cork.

Meanwhile, Kilkenny have deferred the announcement of their team to play Cork until tomorrow night. Last minute decisions are expected on Henry Shefflin and Michael Kavanagh following fitness tests. However, it is expected that both team skipper Peter Barry and D. J. Carey will be in the side for what will be a repeat of last season’s All-Ireland final.

TIPPERARY (SH v Clare): B Cummins , P Curran , P Maher , H Moloney ; D Fanning , D Kennedy , E Corcoran ; C O’Mahoney , P Kelly ; M O’Leary , J Devane , B Dunne; E Kelly, M Webster, P O’Brien.

LIMERICK (SH v Waterford): T. Houlihan, S. Lucey, TJ Ryan, M. Foley, P. O’ Dwyer, O. Moran, B. Geary; P. O’Grady, D. O’Grady; A. O’Connor, J. O’Brien, N Moran; D. Ryan S. O’Connor, C. Fitzgerald

KERRY (SH v Westmeath): T. Flynn; E. Fitzgerald, A. Healy, P. McCarthy; B. Flaherty, E. Sheehy, A. Keane; I. McCarthy, J. Griffin; P. Randles, T. Murnane, E. Tuohy; M. Conway, J. M Dooley, J Egan.

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