Tipperary All-Star defender Cathal Barrett returned to action with his club Holycross-Ballycahill yesterday after being sidelined through injury since Tipperary’s defeat by Cork in the first round of the Munster championship.
Barrett picked up a second-half injury in the Cork game which forced him to go off.
He was subsequently omitted from the Tipperary squad for disciplinary reasons, and has not been involved in the Tipperary campaign in the All-Ireland qualifiers which has seen the All-Ireland champions record wins over Westmeath, Dublin and an impressive win over Clare in the newly opened Páirc Uí Chaoimh on Saturday last.
He played at wing-back for Holycross-Ballycahill as they lost to Drom-Inch 0-23 to 1-21 in the Cahill Cup senior hurling final at Holycross, scoring two points.
Shortcomings in the Tipperary defence in their qualifier games have raised the issue of the Holycross man’s continued exclusion from the Tipp squad. His performance yesterday was a reminder of what he has to offer as Tipp face into an All-Ireland hurling semi-final.
Meanwhile, Cork will be without senior star Darragh Fitzgibbon for Wednesday’s Bord Gáis Energy Munster U21 hurling final against Limerick after he lost his appeal against a sending-off in the semi-final win over Waterford.
The Charleville star saw red for striking out at Déise keeper Billy Nolan, picking up a one-match ban that only applies to the U21 grade.
The midfielder had struck three points from midfield in the game and will be a major loss for John Meyler’s set up ahead of the meeting with an impressive Limerick side.
However, Cork hope Fitzgibbon’s fellow senior star Luke Meade will be available for selection, having recovered from an injury that saw him miss the semi-final.
Elsewhere, Jack O’Connor is set to take charge of the Kerry U20s for a two-year term. O’Connor led the Kingdom U21s to a Munster title this season, though they were shocked in the All-Ireland semi-final by Galway.
His stellar management record with Kerry includes three senior titles and two minor crowns. O’Connor will be proposed as U20 boss at the next Kerry county board meeting in September.
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