Woodlock ruled out as Tipp’s injury list mounts for qualifier

TIPPERARY midfielder James Woodlock has been ruled out of Saturday’s All-Ireland senior hurling qualifier against Cork.

Woodlock was forced off with 14 minutes left in Tuesday night’s U21 championship clash, won by the Rebels.

Woodlock has suspected broken ribs and his absence is a massive blow to Tipp’s hopes of causing an upset at the weekend.

The Drom & Inch clubman has forged an energetic midfield partnership with Shane McGrath this season — but was rested for last Saturday’s clash with Dublin ahead of the U21 encounter.

Manager Michael ‘Babs’ Keating has a major selection dilemma ahead of the crunch game against Cork — which will decide who meets Munster champions Waterford in the All-Ireland quarter-finals.

Corner backs Diarmaid Fitzgerald and Paul Curran are both ruled out through injury — and Paul Ormonde quit the panel last Monday.

Keating could decide to start team captain Benny Dunne at left corner back, leave Shane Maher at left half back after he made his championship debut last Saturday, and partner McGrath with Hugh Maloney in the centre of the park.

In attack, star forward Eoin Kelly remains a huge injury doubt.

The Mullinahone clubman came off against Dublin with a groin strain and the player revealed yesterday that he is still experiencing pain in the region.

Kelly is anxious to play some part in such an important match, but Keating will be reluctant to gamble on his fitness with an All Ireland quarter final looming.

Kelly said: “There is some good news for Tipperary as 2005 Allstar nominee Micheal Webster has returned to full training and is in contention for a starting position.”

Webster was let go from the squad recently so that he could get himself fully fit and his return will give Tipp some badly-needed ball-winning options in attack.

Defeated by Antrim last weekend Laois have made seven changes for next Saturday’s final qualifying game in the All-Ireland SHC against Clare in Portlaoise.

Called into the side are goalkeeper Tony Doran, left half back John Walsh, both midfielders James Walsh and Dermot McGill, centre forward Brendan McEvoy and corner forwards Damien Bergin and Eamonn Jackman.

Two members of Wicklow’s county team are doubtful for next Saturday’s Tommy Murphy Cup semi-final against Waterford at Aughrim. Corner-back Ciaran Hyland and wing-forward John Slattery are receiving treatment for hamstring strains.

They lined out against Offaly last weekend but then both players had to be substituted after their hamstring strains flared again during the match. Neither Hyland or Slattery trained on Tuesday, instead they received treatment for their injuries.

For their All-Ireland SFC qualifier with Louth at Newbridge on Saturday Kildare have named the same starting 15 that defeated Roscommon last weekend.

KILDARE (SF v Louth): E. Murphy; E. Callaghan, .K. O’Neill, A McLoughlin; A. Rainbow, M. Hogarty, E. Bolton; R. Sweeney, D. Lyons; J. Kavanagh, J. Doyle, K. Donnelly; M. Conway, J. Phillips, P. O’Neill.

LAOIS (SHC v Clare): T. Doran; C. Healy, M. McEvoy, C. Fitzpatrick; J. Fitzpatrick, M. Whelan, John Walsh; James Walsh, D. McGill; T. Fitzgerald, B. McEvoy, J. Brophy; D. Bergin, C. Young, E. Jackman.

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