Carey answers Keane call with return to fold

CIARAN CAREY has returned to the Limerick senior hurling panel for tomorrow night’s All Ireland qualifier against Offaly at Semple Stadium in Thurles (7pm).

Carey had withdrawn from the squad two weeks ago following his omission from the team which defeated Kerry but he has accepted coach David Keane’s invitation to rejoin the panel.

Carey is not named in the starting 15 but the selectors have made three changes from the team which defeated Kerry 0-22 to 1-14 last time out. Omitted from tomorrow night’s team are U21 players Paudie O’Dwyer and Eoin Kelly, along with seasoned campaigner Ollie Moran and they are replaced by John Meskell, Clem Smith and James Moran respectively.

Two of the three Whelahan brothers, Brian and Barry, who walked out earlier in the week, are included on the Offaly team for tomorrow night’s Semple Stadium clash.

The third member of the famous Birr family, Simon, is among the substitutes.

All three had withdrawn from the county team following Simon’s continuing use as a substitute, but following a meeting between all the relevant parties, peace was restored.

“It was really a storm in a teacup,” Offaly PRO Pat Teehan said.

“All our attention is now focused on tomorrow night’s meeting with Limerick in a game we must win to stay in the championship.

“Lose and it’s all over for another year.”

The selectors have made three changes from the team which defeated Dublin in the All-Ireland Qualifier. Niall Claffey comes in at right corner back for Barry Teehan; Barry Murphy replaces Stephen Browne at left half forward while Damien Murray loses his place at left corner forward, although his replacement will not be announced until just before the game.

A vacancy has been left at midfield and, according to PRO Teehan, it may be that the selectors will give either Stephen Browne or Damien Murray the nod for that vacant midfield spot, or they may opt for a newcomer.

Wexford, who play Waterford in Nowlan Park on Saturday in the All-Ireland hurling qualifiers, have no injury worries after Donal Berry’s recovery from a dead leg injury sustained in the recent Leinster championship final. They will announce their team tonight after training.

Kilkenny will look to make it a clean sweep of Leinster titles when they play Dublin in the Under 21hurling championship decider atDr Cullen Park tonight (7.30 pm).

Their selectors have left a vacancy at right corner forward but it’s expected that senior panellist Brian Dowling, recovered from a broken ankle, could make a surprise return.

With three current seniors in their side, Tommy Walsh, Conor Phelan and JJ Delaney, Kilkenny will be raging favourites, but the word in the capital is that the Dubs will never get a better chance to lower the Cats’ colours, particularly with five seniors on their starting 15.

LIMERICK (SH v Offaly): T Houlihan, D Reale, T J Ryan, S McDonagh, P Lawlor, B Geary, M Foley, J Meskell, C Smith, C Fitzgerald, N Moran, J Moran, A O’Shaughnessy, B Begley, D Sheehan.

OFFALY (SH v Limerick): B Mullins; N Claffey, G Oakley, D Franks; J Brady, Brian Whelahan, C Cassidy; AN Other, Barry Whelahan; M Cordial, G Hanniffy, B Murphy; B Carroll, J Errity, R Hanniffy.

DUBLIN (U21 H v Kilkenny): G Maguire; K Elliott, S Daly, P Brennan; D O’Reilly, S Hiney, C O’Brien; R Fallon, S McCann; C Keaney, P Fluery, M Carton; S O’Neill, S O’Connor, F Chambers.

KILKENNY (U21H v Dublin): D Herity (Dunamaggin); M Phelan (Glenmore), C Hickey (Dunamaggin), G Joyce (Emeralds); K Coogan (Tullaroan), J Tyrell (James Stephens), JJ Delaney (Fenians); M Rice (Carrickshock), T Walsh (Tullaroan); W O’Dwyer (Mullinavat), P Cleere (Black & Whites), C Phelan (Clara); AN Other, S Hennessy (Tullaroan), A Fogarty (Emeralds).

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