Eoin McGrath has announced his retirement from inter-county hurling following Waterford’s All-Ireland quarter-final defeat by Cork last Sunday.
McGrath, 31, confirmed last night he is calling it a day with the county team — but will continue to line out for his club Mount Sion.
The versatile McGrath, who was comfortable in the half-forward or full-forward lines, made his senior championship debut for Waterford against Cork in May 2002. That season he was part of the Déise team that won the Munster senior hurling championship title for the first time in 39 years.
McGrath would add three more provincial titles to his hurling CV — and also won a league medal in 2007. He is a son of former Waterford star Pat McGrath and younger brother to current team selector Ken.
At club level, McGrath won a Waterford MHC title in 1998, five county senior hurling titles and a Munster club crown in 2002.
McGrath was introduced as a second-half substitute against Cork last Sunday but couldn’t help prevent a three-point defeat against the Rebels. And he confirmed last night: “I’m calling it a day with Waterford.”
Speculation will now turn to the futures of other senior Waterford stars, namely Tony Browne and Seamus Prendergast.
Browne will be 40 next summer while Prendergast has enjoyed a new lease of life at centre-forward this season under boss Michael Ryan.
nMeanwhile, Kilkenny All-Ireland-winning captain of last season, Brian Hogan, is facing an uphill battle to be fit for the mouth-watering All-Ireland hurling semi-final against Tipperary on August 19.
The O’Loughlin Gaels man burst a blood vessel in his right calf muscle in a club game some weeks ago and, while the injury has improved, he hasn’t returned to training. Hogan (31) missed Sunday’s quarter-final win over Limerick and indications are it will be 50/50 as to whether or not he will be able to face Tipp.
The vessel bled out after bursting, causing the player a lot of pain and leaving him on crutches for nearly a week. Such injuries are rare and require specialised treatment but, in terms of a recovery period, no one has any clear idea.
Kilkenny management are hopeful the powerful centre-back will be fit but nothing can be done to speed up the healing process.
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