KERRY minor boss John Kennedy hopes his charges will feed off the All-Ireland colleges success of Coláiste na Sceilge, when they open the defence of their Munster MFC crown in today’s quarter-final against Tipperary, (Semple Stadium 6.30pm).
Kennedy has selected five Coláiste Na Sceilge players in his line-up with a further two amongst the substitutes.
“It’s been a big boost for us to have them coming back into the squad after winning an All-Ireland. The big thing for us is that the fellas came out of it without an injury.”
Kerry’s absentees today include Jamie O’Sullivan (hamstring), James Coffey (groin) and Dara O’Sullivan (groin) but Kennedy still has a strong side at his disposal.
Phillip Galvin and Jeremy Hoare are key men in defence, Shane Carroll is at midfield while there’s plenty of attacking firepower in Jack Sherwood, Niall O’Shea and Eanna O’Connor.
Tipperary ran Kerry close last year before losing out in the Munster final after a replay. Eoin Fitzpatrick, Liam Treacy and Gerard Mulhair were all involved last season and Tipperary’s recent renaissance will boost their chances. But Kerry still look to have enough class to progress.
In Páirc Uí Chaoimh, Cork open their Munster MFC campaign with a quarter-final clash against Limerick.
Tonight’s other Munster minor quarter-final tie sees Waterford face Clare in Fraher Field in Dungarvan.
Cork attacker Ciaran Sheehan has emerged as a doubt for Saturday’s All-Ireland U21FC semi-final against Dublin. Sheehan sustained an ankle injury in a club hurling match last Saturday which could rule him out of the showdown in Semple Stadium. Cork are already without full-back Jamie O’Sullivan who has a broken finger.
Meanwhile Armagh and Down meet in tonight’s Ulster U-21FC final in Casement Park. Whoever triumphs tonight will have scant time to bask in glory, with an All-Ireland U-21FC semi-final against Mayo in Longford beckoning on Saturday afternoon.
Crossmaglen trio Paul McKeown, Jamie Clarke and Kyle Carragher along with midfielder Kieran Toner, will be central to Armagh’s hopes of success. Down are reigning champions in this grade, and senior duo Peter Fitzpatrick and Paul McComiskey inspired them to a semi-final win over Tyrone. A repeat of their heroics in that game could sweep them to a final victory.
Meanwhile new Cork boss Denis Walsh and his co-selectors are likely to be in an experimental mood for their side’s last league game against Waterford at Páirc Uí Chaoimh on Sunday.
The Cork management team will have to plan without Eoin Cadogan, Sean Óg Ó hAilpín, John Gardiner, Aisake Ó hAilpín, Shane O’Neill, Patrick Cronin and Graham Callinan, all of whom will be on football duty with their respective clubs in the opening round of the Evening Echo Cork County SFC.
Waterford have a number of injury problems with former All Stars Tony Browne and Ken McGrath both out.
CLARE (MF v Waterford): W DeLoughrey; M O’Connor, G Johnson, S Brennan; S Collins, E Malone, S Malone; K O’Connor, A Malone; S Brennan, C Ryan, S Tierney; C McInerney, E Finnucane, C Nolan.
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