Banner set to groom Lohan for semi-final

BRIAN LOHAN could make a comeback for Clare in Sunday's Allianz NHL semi-final clash with Limerick at Semple Stadium, Thurles.

The All-Star full back missed his side's last game against All-Ireland champions Cork but is due home from his honeymoon in Italy tomorrow.

Manager Anthony Daly is due to announce his side after training tonight and Lohan, with his vast experience and great big-match temperament, is bound to come into the reckoning.

Definitely out, however, are Conor Plunkett and Andrew Quinn, both still not recovered from injuries.

Promising young players Jonathan Clancy and James McInerney are due to play with their clubs Clarecastle and Newmarket-on-Fergus in the Under-21 final at Cusack Park on Saturday and are unlikely to be considered.

Tipperary, who meet Kilkenny in the second semi-final, are also due to name their team tonight.

It's almost certain that full-back Philip Maher will be given the go-ahead. Maher sustained a hand injury in last Sunday's victory.

Dublin hurling captain Philip Brennan returns to the starting line-up for Sunday's NHL Division Two semi-final against Westmeath in Pairc Tailteann.

Free-taker David Curtin has shaken off the effects of a hamstring strain and will start at left-half forward.

In a reshuffled attack Tomas McGrane loses out, with Stephen McDonnell also returning to the forward line after missing the last two games against Carlow and Meath.

The versatile Michael Carton is named at right-wing back while Tommy Moore and John McCaffrey will form a new midfield partnership.

Glen Ryan has been dealt another injury blow which threatens his championship participation for Kildare for the second year running. The Round Towers legend pulled a hamstring in his side's senior football league Division One game with Allenwood at the weekend.

Initial reports are that it is quite a bad tear. Ryan has been a regular at centre back for the Lilywhites during their NFL campaign, despite the fact that he had been written off in many quarters as being past his best at age 33.

Kildare boss, John Crofton is hoping his talismanic figure will have recovered in time for the Leinster quarter-final against Westmeath or Offaly.

There is some good news for Kildare, however.

Dermot Earley has recovered well after breaking his collarbone in the NFL game against Derry. Earley trained with the county panel on Monday morning and should be available for the Leinster quarter-final.

Meath have suffered an injury blow ahead of their Leinster SFC opener against Louth on May 14 with the news that vice-captain Anthony Moyles will miss the game with a broken arm. Moyles suffered the injury while playing for his club Blackhall Gaels against Duleek last Sunday and will be out for six weeks.

On a more positive front, long-serving Ollie Murphy, Niall Kelly and Stephen MacGabhann all figured in a challenge game against Cavan on Easter Monday to give team coach Eamon Barry a welcome boost.

Sligo, who finished their NFL campaign on a high after being without a manager for the early rounds, have also received a timely boost with the news that Brendan Egan, Johnny Martyn and Paul McGovern are set to return.

It's good news for team boss Tommy Breheny, who took over the job midway through the league campaign, and it's no coincidence that the Yeats County's excellent finish to the league coincided with the return of Dessie Sloyan, Eamonn O'Hara and Paul Taylor.

Meanwhile Donegal boss Brian McIvor is the latest senior football manager to voice his disappointment at the NFL finals not being played in Croke Park next Sunday.

"It's strange that they can be removed from Croke Park so easily. I'm sure the sponsors will have something to say. After all it's the second biggest competition in the GAA calendar."

Donegal, who will play Louth in the Division Two final in Breffni Park on Sunday, are likely to include Rory Kavanagh.

He wasn't risked in last week's semi-final win over Westmeath.

DUBLIN (SH v Westmeath):G Maguire; P Brennan, K Ryan, T Brady; M Carton, R Fallon, A de Paor; J McCaffrey, T Moore; E Moran, S McDonnell, D Curtin; K Dunne, K Flynn, A McCrabbe.

More in this section

CourtsGaaHurlingPlace: Semple Stadium, ThurlesPlace: ItalyPlace: Cusack ParkPlace: TipperaryPlace: Páirc TailteannPlace: Round TowersPlace: Croke ParkPlace: Breffni ParkPerson: LohanPerson: Brian LohanPerson: Anthony DalyPerson: Conor PlunkettPerson: Andrew QuinnPerson: Jonathan ClancyPerson: James McInerneyPerson: Philip MaherPerson: MaherPerson: Philip BrennanPerson: David CurtinPerson: Tomas McGranePerson: Stephen McDonnellPerson: Michael CartonPerson: Tommy MoorePerson: John McCaffreyPerson: Glen RyanPerson: RyanPerson: John CroftonPerson: Dermot EarleyPerson: EarleyPerson: Anthony MoylesPerson: MoylesPerson: Ollie MurphyPerson: Niall KellyPerson: Stephen MacGabhannPerson: Eamon BarryPerson: Brendan EganPerson: Johnny MartynPerson: Paul McGovernPerson: Tommy BrehenyPerson: Dessie SloyanPerson: Eamonn O'HaraPerson: Paul TaylorPerson: Brian McIvorPerson: DonegalPerson: Rory KavanaghPerson: DUBLINPerson: G MaguirePerson: P BrennanPerson: K RyanPerson: T BradyPerson: M CartonPerson: R FallonPerson: A de PaorPerson: J McCaffreyPerson: T MoorePerson: E MoranPerson: S McDonnellPerson: D CurtinPerson: K DunnePerson: K FlynnPerson: A McCrabbeEvent: Allianz NHLEvent: NHL Division TwoEvent: Leinster quarter-finalEvent: NFLEvent: Leinster SFCOrganisation: ClareOrganisation: LimerickOrganisation: CorkOrganisation: ClarecastleOrganisation: KilkennyOrganisation: DublinOrganisation: CarlowOrganisation: MeathOrganisation: KildareOrganisation: AllenwoodOrganisation: LilywhitesOrganisation: WestmeathOrganisation: OffalyOrganisation: DerryOrganisation: LouthOrganisation: Blackhall GaelsOrganisation: DuleekOrganisation: CavanOrganisation: SligoOrganisation: Yeats CountyOrganisation: DonegalOrganisation: GAA
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