Wexford forced to wait on McCarthy

WEXFORD are unsure of the availability of Rory McCarthy for Sunday’s Guinness Leinster hurling final against All-Ireland champions Kilkenny in Croke Park.

McCarthy broke a finger in the semi-final game against Offaly and while he played in a trial game at the weekend, the selectors will wait until after training tomorrow night before deciding whether or not to include him in the team. Otherwise, they report no other injury problems.

Kilkenny will be without wing-back Richie Mullally, who suffered a broken ankle in a club game two weeks ago.

On the credit side, DJ Carey has returned to full fitness after suffering a slight ankle strain in the county championship with Gowran the week-end before last.

Both teams are expected to be announced tomorrow night.

Darren Homan, meanwhile, remains a doubtful starter for Dublin in Saturday’s glamour All-Ireland football qualifier against Armagh in Croke Park (4.15). He was injured in Saturday’s win over Derry in Clones. Ray Cosgrove picked up a calf injury in the game but is expected to be fit to start at the weekend.

Galway hurling received a welcome boost at the weekend when long-term absentee Eugene Cloonan returned to action after a lengthy injury lay-off.

The Athenry star who has not represented the county for several months due to back problems came on as a substitute in a high-scoring challenge against Antrim on Saturday, scoring a point in the process.

Galway won the match, 4-24 to 3-17, and tried out most of the panel in the process.

However a number of key players were missing including second choice goalkeeper, Ciaran Callanan, who has gone to the USA for the summer and is now out of Conor Hayes’ plans for the remainder of the championship.

Among players fighting to be fit for the next game are Tony Óg Regan, Alan Kerins, David Tierney and Brian Mahony who is likely to be out of action for a number of weeks.

The team will know their next opponents following next Sunday night’s draw on the Sunday Game on Network 2.

The Cork selectors have given a vote of confidence to the team which comprehensively defeated Clare in the semi-final, for tomorrow night’s Munster JFC final against Kerry at Pairc Uí Caoimh (7.30 pm).

Kerry, who are the defending champions, face a Cork side which includes a number of players with senior experience in Fachtna Collins, Dave Creedon, Kieran Murphy, Enda Wiseman and Conor Brosnan.

The team will be captained by goalkeeper Briain Morgan whose father Billy led the county to senior All-Ireland football honours both as a goalkeeper and coach.

Kerry have made two changes from the team which defeated Tipperary in their semi-final. Seamus Flynn comes in at wing back for Jimmy Doyle while senior panellist Paul Kennedy of Listry is drafted in at midfield, with Eamon J. O’Donoghue moving to full forward and Michael O’Connor excluded.

The team is also notable for the inclusion of former senior Killian Burns at left corner back.

Over the last decade Kerry have won this title five times compared to three for Cork. Kerry’s win in last year’s final was at the expense of Tipperary, while Cork’s last success was in 2001 when they also defeated Tipp.

CORK (JF v Kerry): B. Morgan (Nemo Rangers, capt.), D. Duggan (Ilen Rovers), D. Wiseman (Castletownbere), J. Honohan (Donoughmore), M. Prout (Shamrocks), G. Spillane (Ballygarvan), E. Wiseman (CTB), F. Collins (Ilen Rovers), M. Kelleher (Valley Rovers), D. Creedon (Aghada), K. Murphy (Erins Own), K. Daly (Ilen Rovers), C. Brosnan (Ballinora), L. Dennehy (Kiskeam), K. O’Sullivan (Ilen Rovers).

Subs: P. Prendergast (Bandon), J. Bugler (Valley Rovers), J. Sheehy (Ilen Rovers), M. Fehilly (Diarmuid O’Mathunas), B. Coleman (Youghal), D. O’Brien (Newmarket), S. O’Sullivan (Dromtarriffe), J. Buckley (Knocknagree), E. Sheedy (Ilen Rovers).

KERRY (JF v Cork): H. Shanahan (Desmonds), D. McNamara (Castlegregory), L. Keane (Listowel), K. Burns (Sneem), N. Sheehy (Annascaul), D. Murphy (Gneeveguilla), S. Flynn (Currow), T. Griffin (Dingle), P. Kennedy (Listry), D. Galvin (Listowel), R. Donovan (Spa), J. Dennehy (Currow), B. Scanlon, capt (Listowel), E.J. O’Donoghue (Cordal), K. Foley (Keel).

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