former Kilkenny goalkeeper James McGarry has made a quick leap into management by agreeing to take a role with the current Kilkenny and Leinster club champions Ballyhale Shamrocks.
McGarry, who slipped quietly away from county hurling after last year's All-Ireland success over Waterford, will be joined by Michael Fennelly and Brendan Mason as Shamrocks seek a fourth successive Kilkenny title.
The trio take over from Maurice Alyward, who led Shamrocks to All-Ireland club success over Loughrea in 2007. McGarry has little previous management experience but is appreciated as a shrewd observer and good motivator within the Kilkenny dressing-room.
Kavanagh in line to return for Dubs date
top Cork defender Derek Kavanagh returned to county training earlier this week and could yet line out in a challenge against Dublin tonight in Crettyard, Laois.
Kavanagh has been unavailable for most of the national league because he was working abroad but his return is especially timely as Cork have a lot of injuries and have a crucial last NFL game against Armagh on Sunday week that will decide whether or not they get promoted and make the Division 2 final.
Football manager Conor Counihan has called for the setting up of a special committee locally to help improve fixture planning and help lessen the injuries caused by the heavy demands of club and county fixtures.
"We talk about 'player burnout' but players are being asked to play night after night," Counihan said at the launch of the local football championships.
Counihan suggested that a committee comprised of representatives of club managers, inter-county management and the local county board would best devise a less taxing fixtures list.
Clubs thrown out for last-eight row
A brawl between two big-name Cork clubs has resulted in both being thrown out of the city U-21 football championship.
The Seandun divisional board has recommended that Na Piarsaigh and Bishopstown be expelled from the competition and fined €1,500 each after their quarter-final meeting had to be abandoned because of a melee.