Limerick boss Bennis wields the axe

Limerick manager Richie Bennis has opted to make five changes to his side for Sunday's battle of the bottom sides in NHL Division 1B.

Limerick manager Richie Bennis has opted to make five changes to his side for Sunday's battle of the bottom sides in NHL Division 1B.

Bennis' charges meet their fellow strugglers Antrim at the Gaelic Grounds (throw-in 3.30pm) in what is a must-win game for the Shannonsiders.

The top four teams from both Division 1A and 1B will play in the re-structured nine-county Division One next year, with one other side joining them by way of a play-off.

Limerick are currently fifth in the standings and will need to beat Antrim by at least 19 points, coupled with a Tipperary defeat against Dublin, to book their place in next year's Division One.

Otherwise, wins for Limerick and Tipperary this weekend would see Bennis' side playing their fifth-placed counterparts in Division 1A - the winners of that tie will go through to face this year's Division Two champions for the right to be in Division One in 2008.

Limerick's loss to Dublin last weekend has seen five players lose their spots in the team, with captain Damien Reale one of them.

Paudie O'Dwyer, Maurice O'Brien, Niall Moran and Donie Ryan have also been axed.

The new inclusions see Kieran O'Rourke replacing Reale at right corner back, Peter Lawlor has been named at right half-back, while Willie Walsh will line out on the left flank.

Hugh Flavin has got the nod at right half-forward, with big Brian Begley, who returned home from his honeymoon last Friday, set for his first league start at left half-forward.

LIMERICK (NHL v Antrim) - B Murray; K O'Rourke, S Lucey, S Hickey; P Lawlor, B Geary, W Walsh; D O'Grady, M O'Brien; H Flavin, O Moran, B Begley; A O'Shaughnessy, S O'Connor, B Foley.

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