Waterford boost as McGrath back after ban

KEN McGRATH is set to make his first start for Waterford in the current National Hurling League campaign when the Decies make the long trip north to Portaferry to take on pointless Down, on Sunday.

Having completed a six month suspension following his sending off in the county championship semi-final last September, the Mount Sion star is named at centre back in a team that is notable for the enforced absence of his club colleague, Eoin Kelly, together with Conor Carey and James Murray.

Kelly and Carey are both out injured while Murray is on the sick list, but Tony Browne is named among the subs for the first time in the league to date. Browne had been outside the country for some months on work commitments.

The absence of Kelly and Murray opens up a window of opportunity for Lismore clubman Dave Bennett who is named at Michael Walsh's midfield partner. A championship regular last year, Bennett now has an ideal chance to lay down a marker for future games.

In a revamped attack, Jack Kennedy takes over on the "40', Dan Shanahan and Eoin McGrath are on the flanks, with John Mullane, Seamas Prendersgast and team captain Paul Flynn forming a potentially machinating inside trio.

The suspended Tomás Mahon and P.J. Nolan (shoulder injury) are absent from the Wexford side to play Cork in what a crucial NHL showdown at Wexford Park on Sunday, when a quarter-final place is at stake.

Declan Ruth returns to centre-back following a lay-off with a hamstring problem, while Stephen Doyle is at half-forward in place of Nolan.

Dublin manager Tommy Naughton makes three changes for Sunday's top of the table NHL clash with Meath in Pairc Tailteann, Navan (3.30pm).

Aodhan de Paor replaces Cormac O'Brien at right full-back while Michael Carton takes over at left wing-back from Derek O'Reilly.

Padraig O'Driscoll and David Sweeney are at midfield with Stuart Mullen moving to right corner-forward instead of Tomas McGrane.

Dublin free-taker, David Curtin, who has amassed 0-25 in the league, is an injury concern after hobbling out of training last night (hamstring).

Team captain Philip Brennan is sidelined with a foot injury but Damien Russell has returned to full training.

WATERFORD (SH v Down): C. Hennessy; T. Feeney. K. Moran. D. Coffey; B. Phelan. K. McGrath. E. Murphy; M. Walsh. D. Bennett; D. Shanahan. J. Kennedy. E. McGrath; J. Mullane. S. Prendergast. P. Flynn (capt).

MAYO (SH v Westmeath): T. Duffy; S. Morley, P. Hunt, B. Delaney, D. Walsh, D. McDonnell, S. Coyne; S. Broderick, P. Higgins, K. Healy, G. Whyte, K. Robinson; C. McCrudden, K. Higgins, S. Hunt.

LOUTH (SH v Sligo): J. Carter; B. Hassett, A. Mynes, M. Martin; R. Byrne, D. Callan, G. Collins; T. Hilliard, S. Callan; B. Minogue, D. McCarthy, D. Madden; P. Coyle, P. Donohoe, S. Fennell.

DUBLIN (SH v Meath): G Maguire; A de Paor, K Ryan, T Brady; G Bennett, R Fallon, M Carton; D Sweeney, P O'Driscoll; S McDonnell, L Ryan, D Curtin; S Mullen, K Flynn, A McCrabbe.

WEXFORD (SH v Cork): D. Fitzhenry; D. O'Connor, D. Ryan, K. Rossiter (capt); M. Travers, D. Ruth, C. Kenny; D. Stamp, D. Lyng; M. Jacob, E. Quigley, S. Doyle; R. Jacob, M.J. Furlong, D. Mythen.

OFFALY (SH v Clare): B. Mullins; B. O'Meara, P. Cleary, D. Franks; K. Brady, R. Hanniffy, D. Hoctor; G. Hanniffy, A. Hanrahan; D. Hayden, M. O'Hara, B. Murphy; B. Carroll, J. Bergin, A. Egan.

More in this section

CourtsGaaHurlingPlace: PortaferryPlace: Wexford ParkPlace: Páirc TailteannPlace: NavanPerson: McGrathPerson: Ken McGrathPerson: Eoin KellyPerson: Conor CareyPerson: James MurrayPerson: KellyPerson: CareyPerson: MurrayPerson: Tony BrownePerson: BrownePerson: Dave BennettPerson: Michael WalshPerson: BennettPerson: Jack KennedyPerson: Dan ShanahanPerson: Eoin McGrathPerson: John MullanePerson: Seamas PrendersgastPerson: Paul FlynnPerson: Tomas MahonPerson: P.J. NolanPerson: Declan RuthPerson: Stephen DoylePerson: NolanPerson: Tommy NaughtonPerson: Aodhan de PaorPerson: Cormac O'BrienPerson: Michael CartonPerson: Derek O'ReillyPerson: Padraig O'DriscollPerson: David SweeneyPerson: Stuart MullenPerson: Tomas McGranePerson: David CurtinPerson: Philip BrennanPerson: Damien RussellPerson: C.Person: T. FeeneyPerson: K. MoranPerson: D. CoffeyPerson: B. PhelanPerson: K. McGrathPerson: E. MurphyPerson: M. WalshPerson: D. BennettPerson: D. ShanahanPerson: J. KennedyPerson: E. McGrathPerson: J. MullanePerson: S. PrendergastPerson: P. FlynnPerson: MayoPerson: T. DuffyPerson: S. MorleyPerson: P.Person: HuntPerson: B. DelaneyPerson: D. WalshPerson: D. McDonnellPerson: S. CoynePerson: S. BroderickPerson: P. HigginsPerson: K. HealyPerson: G. WhytePerson: K. RobinsonPerson: C. McCruddenPerson: K. HigginsPerson: J. CarterPerson: B. HassettPerson: A. MynesPerson: M. MartinPerson: R. ByrnePerson: D. CallanPerson: G. CollinsPerson: T. HilliardPerson: S. CallanPerson: B. MinoguePerson: D. McCarthyPerson: D. MaddenPerson: P. CoylePerson: P. DonohoePerson: S. FennellPerson: DUBLINPerson: A de PaorPerson: K RyanPerson: T BradyPerson: G BennettPerson: R FallonPerson: M CartonPerson: D SweeneyPerson: P O'DriscollPerson: S McDonnellPerson: L RyanPerson: D CurtinPerson: S MullenPerson: K FlynnPerson: A McCrabbePerson: D. FitzhenryPerson: D. O'ConnorPerson: D. RyanPerson: K. RossiterPerson: M. TraversPerson: D. RuthPerson: C. KennyPerson: D. StampPerson: D. LyngPerson: M. JacobPerson: E. QuigleyPerson: S. DoylePerson: R. JacobPerson: M.J. FurlongPerson: MythenPerson: B. MullinsPerson: B. O'MearaPerson: P. ClearyPerson: D. FranksPerson: K. BradyPerson: R. HanniffyPerson: D. HoctorPerson: G. HanniffyPerson: A. HanrahanPerson: D. HaydenPerson: M. O'HaraPerson: B. MurphyPerson: B. CarrollPerson: J. BerginPerson: A. EganOrganisation: WaterfordOrganisation: Mount SionOrganisation: LismoreOrganisation: WexfordOrganisation: CorkOrganisation: DublinOrganisation: MeathOrganisation: SHOrganisation: Sligo
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