Galway at full-strength for Premier showdown

WITH the recalls of Fergal Moore, Shane Kavanagh, Fergal Healy and Niall Healy, Galway will field their strongest team of the season for next Sunday’s Allianz NHL showdown with Tipperary at Pearse Stadium.

Moore is named at left full back, with Cathal Dervan switching over to the right corner of defence. Kavanagh comes in at right half back, with Fergal Healy named as new midfield partner to Kevin Hynes. Niall Healy is selected at left half forward.

Meanwhile, a high ranking county official has slammed what he sees as the Leinster Council’s increasing bias towards third level competitions.

Kildare chairman Syl Merrins is concerned that the province’s ruling body has lost sight of its priorities and is accusing the decision-makers of paying lip service to the GAA’s stated concerns about burnout.

Speaking in the wake of the decision to postpone the U21FC game between Kildare and Dublin from this Sunday to March 22 due to the participation of a number of Dublin players in DIT’s Sigerson Cup campaign, Merrins revealed that Kildare had made a formal application to Leinster Council to play the game under lights in the middle of next week.

“We are insisting that the game goes ahead next Tuesday or Wednesday night and we have proposed Athy as a venue” he said yesterday.

While the involvement of three St Vincent’s players preparing for the All-Ireland Club final is also likely to have been a factor in Dublin’s application for a fixture change, it is the influence of the third level institutions that concerns Merrins.

“Leinster Council is giving the colleges priority over everything else and have done so for some time” he insists. “It’s madness in our view. If DIT are beaten on Friday they’re going to look stupid.”

Kildare had originally sought to have the game brought forward from this Sunday to Saturday but Dublin were unable to comply with this request due to DIT’s progress in the Sigerson Cup.

“We had no problem with Dublin not being able to change the game because they told us it would depend on DIT. That was fair enough.

“But then at the end of last week they sent a letter to Leinster Council saying they had a number of players involved with DIT and so wanted the match off. Leinster Council agreed and because we’re playing in the league on the 15th (and Dublin playing on the 16th) fixed it for the 22nd despite it not suiting us.”

Merrins is worried that players involved in both senior and U21 squads could face an extremely hectic schedule, particularly if the U21s beat Dublin, as the seniors face three make-or-break league games in successive weekends against Mayo, Kerry and Laois which could determine relegation or qualification to the semi-finals.

“That would be a major problem for us and it’s all caused by the colleges. Leinster gives them precedence all the time. I’m not anti-third level, I’m in favour of it and I think it’s great that it’s looked after but there has to be a limit and it’s gone too far now.

“When you think of burn-out and the crossover of fellas involved, it’s a pure contradiction of what we have been hearing in recent months. It’s time to take a step back and look at it properly.”

Meanwhile, Barry Cahill makes his comeback from injury as Paul Caffrey names an experimental side for tomorrow night’s senior football challenge against Antrim in Innisfails club, Balgriffin (8.15)

Cahill suffered a medial ligament injury in the annual Dubs Stars game before the New Year and has not featured since.

Ciaran Whelan has been named at midfield alongside Declan O’Mahony after making his return to action in last Saturday night’s NFL Division 2 victory over Cavan in Breffni Park.

Declan Lally will play at centre-back, a position where he did well for his club, St Brigid’s, in a few games in their run to the Leinster Club SFC in 2003.

Fingal Ravens duo, Colin Prendeville and Ian Kavanagh, will start in the Dublin defence while up front Templeogue Synge Street’s pacey Eoghan O’Gara, a Dublin junior in recent years, will play in a half-forward line that includes Ray Cosgrove and Brendan McManamon.

GALWAY (SH v Tipperary): J. Skehill; C. Dervan, T. og Reganb, F. Moore; S. Kavanagh, J. Lee, G. Mahon; F. Healy, K. Hynes; A. Kerins, D. Forde, N. Healy; G. Farragher, I. Tannian, R. Wade.

DUBLIN (SF v Antrim): J Leonard; C. Prendeville, R. McConnell, D. Murray; B. Cahill, D. Lally, I. Kavanagh; C. Whelan, D. O’Mahony; E. O’Gara, R. Cosgrove, B. McManamon; C. Keaney, G. Cullen, K. Bonner.

More in this section

GaaHurlingPlace: Pearse StadiumPlace: AthyPlace: Breffni ParkPlace: Templeogue Synge StreetPerson: Fergal MoorePerson: Shane KavanaghPerson: Fergal HealyPerson: Niall HealyPerson: MoorePerson: Cathal DervanPerson: KavanaghPerson: Kevin HynesPerson: Syl MerrinsPerson: MerrinsPerson: St VincentPerson: Barry CahillPerson: Paul CaffreyPerson: CahillPerson: Ciaran WhelanPerson: Declan O’MahonyPerson: Declan LallyPerson: Colin PrendevillePerson: Ian KavanaghPerson: Eoghan O’GaraPerson: Ray CosgrovePerson: Brendan McManamonPerson: J. SkehillPerson: C. DervanPerson: T.Person: ReganbPerson: F. MoorePerson: S. KavanaghPerson: J. LeePerson: F. HealyPerson: K. HynesPerson: A. KerinsPerson: D. FordePerson: N.Person: G. FarragherPerson: I. TannianPerson: R. WadePerson: DUBLINPerson: J LeonardPerson: C. PrendevillePerson: R. McConnellPerson: D. MurrayPerson: B. CahillPerson: D. LallyPerson: I. KavanaghPerson: C. WhelanPerson: D. O’MahonyPerson: E. O’GaraPerson: R. CosgrovePerson: B. McManamonPerson: C. KeaneyPerson: G. CullenPerson: KEvent: Sigerson CupEvent: All-Ireland club finalEvent: Dubs StarsEvent: New YearOrganisation: GalwayOrganisation: TipperaryOrganisation: Leinster CouncilOrganisation: GAAOrganisation: U21FCOrganisation: KildareOrganisation: DublinOrganisation: DITOrganisation: U21Organisation: U21sOrganisation: MayoOrganisation: KerryOrganisation: LaoisOrganisation: LeinsterOrganisation: AntrimOrganisation: InnisfailsOrganisation: CavanOrganisation: St BrigidOrganisation: Leinster Club SFCOrganisation: Fingal RavensOrganisation: SHOrganisation: SF
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