Saturday 29 April 2017

No faithful duals as Dooley opts for hurlers

Dooley's sole attention lies with Kevin Ryan’s hurlers. Photo by Piaras Ó Mídheach/Sportsfile
Dooley's sole attention lies with Kevin Ryan’s hurlers. Photo by Piaras Ó Mídheach/Sportsfile

Independent.ie Sportsdesk

Shane Dooley will not be attempting a dual mandate with Offaly in 2017 as the 30-year-old's sole attention lies with Kevin Ryan's hurlers.

After splitting his time between the two codes last season and not seeing any League or Championship action for Pat Flanagan's footballers, the Faithful forward has decided to focus everything on the small ball.

Joseph O'Connor also tried to mix the two in 2016 but the St Rynagh's clubman, key to their county SHC final win in October, will not be doing similar this year and sticks with his preferred code of football.

Flanagan's squad has been hit with the retirement of Niall Smith, however, and the absence of the inspirational Gracefield midfielder leaves a massive hole in the Faithful engine room.

Elsewhere, details of the AIB All-Ireland club semi-finals have been finalised, with 2013 champions St Thomas' and Clare's Ballyea meeting in Semple Stadium on February 4, with the other hurling tie featuring Ulster kingpins Slaughtneil and All-Ireland favourites Cuala scheduled for three weeks later, February 25, in the Athletic Grounds in Armagh.

Slaughtneil's double bid starts with a last four All-Ireland football clash with St Vincent's in Newry on February 11, with the other semi-final tie between Dr Crokes and 2015 champions Corofin later that day in Limerick's Gaelic Grounds. All games are live on TG4.

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