Limerick make two changes

LIMERICK boss Ger Hegarty has made two changes for tonight’s crucial Munster MHC play-off with Waterford at the Gaelic Grounds, 6.30pm.

Na Piarsaigh’s Shane Dowling and Askeaton’s Mark Ranahan come into the half-forward line in place of John Fitzgibbon and Brendan Mullins. Their absence is a result of their involvement in this afternoon’s All-Ireland Senior Schools Soccer Cup final with Limerick CBS.

Limerick lost by 12 points to Tipperary in last week’s opening round; the exchanges had been closely fought in the first period, but Limerick will need to avoid a repeat of the second-half scores conceded that day.

The input of Bryan Cleary and Declan Hannon will be vital in defence, while Kevin Downes and William Griffin carry the scoring mantle.

Waterford have also made two changes, with Kenny Murphy and Padraic Prendergast coming into the side at the expense of Cormac Looby and Eamonn Murphy. The Déise will have been disappointed by last week’s defeat, Clare hitting an injury-time winner.

But they can take encouragement from the excellence of Phillip Mahony in defence, while Martin O’Neill knocked over eight points from midfield. But only Padraic Mahony and Brian O’Halloran made meaningful impressions up front and they will need a greater spread of scoring.

It’s the final chance for both to save their season, a semi-final clash against Clare beckoning on June 24. It’s a tight call but Waterford were unlucky to lose out to Clare last week and if they can recover from that, a repeat clash with the Banner can be set up.

Verdict: Waterford.

LIMERICK: A Murphy (Hospital-Herbertstown); B Cleary (Knockainey), N Foley (Patrickswell), N Buckley (Na Piarsaigh); P Ahern (Kilteely-Dromkeen), D Hannon (Adare), T O'Callaghan (Monagea); N Kennedy (Granagh-Ballingarry), L O'Shea (Knockainey); K Downes (Na Piarsaigh), M Ranahan (Askeaton), S Dowling (Na Piarsaigh), W Griffin (Kildimo), C McNamara (Doon), M Ryan (Murroe-Boher).

WATERFORD: S O’Keeffe (Ballygunner); L Egan (Dungarvan), T Costello (Dunhill), M Wyse (Passage); J Dee (Portlaw), Philip Mahony (Ballygunner), D Fives (Tourin); K Moore (Dungarvan), K Murphy (Ardmore); J Prendergast (Lismore), B O’Halloran (Clashmore), Paudric Mahony (Ballygunner); M O’Neill (Mount Sion), J Dillon (De La Salle), P Prendergast (Lismore)

Referee: T Ryan (Tipperary).

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