Galway bring in Kennedy from the cold

Galway will field a much-changed side in tomorrow afternoon's All-Ireland SHC qualifier against Antrim (Pearse Stadium, throw-in 3pm).

Galway will field a much-changed side in tomorrow afternoon's All-Ireland SHC qualifier against Antrim (Pearse Stadium, throw-in 3pm).

Manager Ger Loughnane has made five changes to the team that started last weekend's loss to Clare, with experienced Loughrea clubman Greg Kennedy getting a surprise chance to impress.

The 31-year-old Kennedy, who has not played championship hurling for five years, will start at right corner-back tomorrow as the Tribesmen seek a result which will guarantee their place in the All-Ireland quarter-finals.

A draw would suffice for Galway to make the last-eight as they boast a better scoring difference than Antrim.

Kennedy, Derek Hardiman, Mark Kerins, who will end his three-year absence from championship action, Kevin Broderick and Niall Healy are the five new inclusions.

Both Kennedy and Kerins, who hurls for Clarinbridge, were frozen out during Conor Hayes' reign as Galway manager.

Tony Og Regan, Shane Kavanagh, David Forde, Richie Murray and Eugene Cloonan are the players to drop out of the starting line-up.

Loughnane has also made a flurry of positional switches with only goalkeeper Colm Callanan, centre-back John Lee and left-sided attackers Iarla Tannian and Kerril Wade named in the same positions they held for the Clare game.

There is an entirely new midfield partnership in David Collins, the team captain, and Damien Hayes.

Expect plenty of further switches before the throw-in but with Loughnane only announcing his team for the Clare game just minutes before the start, the Galway Hurling Board have sought assurances that this team will be the one which starts tomorrow in Salthill.

GALWAY (SHC v Antrim) - C Callanan; G Kennedy, G Mahon, F Moore; D Hardiman, J Lee, D Tierney; D Collins (capt), Damien Hayes; A Kerins, M Kerins, I Tannian; N Healy, K Broderick, K Wade.

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