Foley makes shock return as Keane ruled out

BARRY FOLEY is a shock selection on the Limerick team to play Kilkenny in the Allianz National Hurling League final at Thurles, on Sunday.

Foley, who has not played for the county team for three years, recently played in a couple of challenge matches but did not figure in any of Limerick's League or Waterford Crystal teams and he takes the place of injured Mark Keane at left corner forward.

Selector Liam Lenihan said that Foley, from the Patrickswell club and who figured in the 1996 All-Ireland final defeat by Wexford, had shown up well in training and was a player with plenty of experience.

Keane picked up his injury late in last week's semi-final win over Clare and is a doubt for the Munster championship on May 14.

"Mark has a groin injury, which means he could be out for four to five weeks, making him doubtful for the championship match against Tipperary as well. Fingers crossed we'll have him back for that," said manager McKenna.

Keane, a star on two of the three-in-a-row All-Ireland U-21-winning teams, had struggled to bring that form to the senior set-up, but has been a revelation so far this year, doing the bulk of the Limerick scoring. However, if Limerick are to challenge Kilkenny, others will now have to step up to the mark.

McKenna has no doubt but that this will happen: "Yes, the panel is strong, someone else will have to come in, but that's the way it's been all year, any lad who's come in has done his bit. I'm sure whoever comes on in place of Mark will perform also; we'll be there or thereabouts at the finish."

Paul O'Grady, who suffered a finger injury in the win over Clare, is ruled out and is replaced by Denis Moloney.

With Noel Hickey and Henry Shefflin having completed satisfactory comebacks and Ritchie Power passed fit to play Kilkenny are likely to parade their full championship team.

Hickey, out for several months because of a medical condition, did pick up a facial injury, which required three stitches in last Sunday's semi-final win over Tipperary but is certain to retain his full back berth for the final.

Prolific scoring forward Power came on as a substitute in the Tipp game and is expected to get the nod over Willie O'Dwyer to start on this occasion.

Donegal manager, Brian McIver has complimented Karl Lacey's honesty in making "a very honest call" not to play in last Sunday's drawn Allianz NFL final against Louth. Lacey was forced to withdraw at the 11th hour with a hamstring injury sustained in a club match the previous week.

Lacey remains manager Brian McIver's main injury concern going into Sunday's replay in Kingspan Breffni Park.

The squad trained last night for the first time since Sunday's remarkable second half comeback and will meet once more tomorrow evening, after which the side for Sunday's game will be announced. Lacey aside, they have no major injury concerns.

Commenting on Adrian Sweeney's strong second half showing, McIver stated that Adrian's quality was never in doubt. "I was delighted with the way Adrian played, he's always capable of doing those kind of things."

Monaghan manager Seamus McEnaney has recalled top forwards Raymond Ronaghan and James McElroy to his squad ahead of the Ulster SFC clash with Armagh on May 14.

Ronaghan was dropped from the panel last year, while McElroy who was top scorer in last year's championship opted out of the National League campaign.

McEnaney is hoping that both players will bring much-needed experience to the set-up as Monaghan attempt to put behind them the disappointment of their league relegation.

Defender Gary McQuaid is also back in the reckoning after recovering from a shoulder injury and could be included in the team for the meeting with the Orchard County.

Sligo are hoping that injured players Mark Breheny, Paul McGovern and Johnny Martyn will have recovered in time to face Galway in the Connacht Football Championship on May 21.

Breheny and McGovern took no part in a challenge game against Cavan last weekend but both are expected to resume full training in the next week.

Brendan Egan who missed the concluding stages of the League due to injury played the full game and should be fully fit for the Championship.

LIMERICK (SH v Kilkenny) B. Murray; D Reale, TJ Ryan, M. Foley; O. Moran, B. Geary, D. Moloney; D. Ryan, D. O'Grady; M. O'Brien, S. Lucey, C. Fitzgerald; A. O'Shaughnessy, B. Begley, B. Foley.

KERRY (SH v Dublin): P.J. O'Gorman; J. Fitzgerald, M. Lucid, M. Quilter; K. O'Sullivan, A. Keane, C. Harris; A. Doyle, J. Griffin; S. Brick, M. Conway, D. Young; J. Egan, J. M. Dooley, M. Slattery.

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CourtsGaaPlace: ThurlesPlace: Kingspan Breffni ParkPerson: FoleyPerson: KeanePerson: Barry FoleyPerson: Mark KeanePerson: Liam LenihanPerson: MarkPerson: McKennaPerson: Paul O'GradyPerson: Denis MoloneyPerson: Noel HickeyPerson: Henry ShefflinPerson: Ritchie PowerPerson: HickeyPerson: PowerPerson: Willie O'DwyerPerson: Brian McIverPerson: Karl LaceyPerson: LaceyPerson: Adrian SweeneyPerson: McIverPerson: AdrianPerson: Seamus McEnaneyPerson: Raymond RonaghanPerson: James McElroyPerson: RonaghanPerson: McElroyPerson: McEnaneyPerson: Gary McQuaidPerson: Mark BrehenyPerson: Paul McGovernPerson: Johnny MartynPerson: BrehenyPerson: McGovernPerson: Brendan EganPerson: LimerickPerson: MurrayPerson: D RealePerson: TJ RyanPerson: M. FoleyPerson: O. MoranPerson: GearyPerson: MoloneyPerson: D. RyanPerson: D. O'GradyPerson: M. O'BrienPerson: C. FitzgeraldPerson: A. O'ShaughnessyPerson: B. BegleyPerson: B. FoleyPerson: KerryPerson: P.J. O'GormanPerson: J. FitzgeraldPerson: M. LucidPerson: M. QuilterPerson: K. O'SullivanEvent: Allianz National Hurling LeagueEvent: 1996 All-IrelandEvent: Munster championshipEvent: Allianz NFLEvent: Connacht football championshipOrganisation: LimerickOrganisation: KilkennyOrganisation: Limerick's LeagueOrganisation: Waterford CrystalOrganisation: PatrickswellOrganisation: WexfordOrganisation: ClareOrganisation: TipperaryOrganisation: ArmaghOrganisation: MonaghanOrganisation: Orchard CountyOrganisation: SligoOrganisation: GalwayOrganisation: CavanOrganisation: Dublin
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