Limerick make four changes for football opener

Gerald Griffins clubman Brian Scanlon will make his Championship debut for Limerick in Sunday's Munster SFC semi-final against Waterford in Dungarvan (throw-in 2pm).

Gerald Griffins clubman Brian Scanlon will make his Championship debut for Limerick in Sunday's Munster SFC semi-final against Waterford in Dungarvan (throw-in 2pm).

Manager Mickey Ned O'Sullivan has made four changes to the Limerick team that secured the NFL Division 4 title with a win over the same opposition at Croke Park six weeks ago.

Scanlon retains the number 1 jersey after a promising league campaign which was topped off by his vital point from a '45' in the decider against the Deise.

With hamstring injury victim Conor Mullane failing a fitness test, Johnny McCarthy returns to the starting line-up after a three month absence due to injury.

Stephen Lucey has been preferred to Diarmuid Carroll at centre-back, while the fit-again Stephen Lavin, who had been nursing a shoulder problem, resumes at wing back.

Padraig Browne has been switched to a wing forward position, with John Mullane the player to miss out, and Stephen Kelly comes into the full-forward line in place of the benched Cormac Joyce-Power.

Limerick and Waterford's last Championship meeting was the 2004 Munster SFC semi-final which finished in a handsome 1-18 to 0-7 victory for the then Liam Kearns-managed Shannonsiders.

McCarthy, Lucey, Mark O'Riordan, Padraig Browne and John Galvin, who will all start on Sunday, were part of that victorious Limerick side, along with Conor Mullane and Conor Fitzgerald.

Looking forward to the Fraher Field encounter, Limerick boss O'Sullivan said: "It's all systems go. Waterford will be tough - they have played a game already and to have a Championship match under your belt is invaluable.

"They are on a high after their win over Clare, and have only been beaten by Kerry by one goal in the McGrath Cup and by us in the league final. They were the only team to go through the league games unbeaten," he told the Limerick Leader.

O'Sullivan admitted that this was the most difficult team selection he has ever had to make, adding: "In the backs and the forwards there will be lads disappointed because they won't start. It's a 20-man game now, but all players want to start of course."

LIMERICK (SFC v Waterford): B Scanlon; M O'Riordan, J McCarthy, A Lane; S Lavin, S Lucey, P Ranahan; J O'Donovan, J Galvin; P Browne, J Ryan, S Buckley (capt); G Collins, I Ryan, S Kelly.

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