Whelan wins fitness race as Déise swap goalkeepers
Published 10/09/2016 | 02:30
Conor Whelan has been included at full-forward in the Galway starting 15 for today's Bord Gáis Energy All-Ireland U-21 final against Waterford in Thurles - despite concerns surrounding his fitness.
The senior star damaged his AC joint (shoulder) in last month's 0-21 to 0-19 extra-time win over Dublin and was considered a major doubt but the Kinvara attacker has been deemed fit to start.
Tony Ward's selection shows two changes from last month's semi-final, with Turloughmore duo Vincent Doyle and Sean Linnane, who impressed off the bench against the Dubs, replacing Fintan Burke and Cian Burke.
Captain Brian Molloy, who delivered a man-of-the-match display with 0-10 last time out, and influential defender Declan Cronin are both fit to start after minor injuries.
Waterford make just one change, with goalkeeper Jordan Henley returning between the posts instead of Gavin Power.
Henley was the preferred choice in their two Munster games but Power replaced the Tallow man for the semi-final stroll against Antrim.
Tom Devine starts at No 11 despite being an injury concern earlier in the week and is one of six Déise seniors included in an impressive line-up, with Conor and Austin Gleeson, Patrick Curran and brothers Shane and Stephen Bennett also present.
Meanwhile, Derry are on the look-out for a new senior hurling manager after Tom McLean stepped down from the role after two years in charge.
The highlight of McLean's reign came in 2015 when he led the Oak Leafers to the Christy Ring Cup final for the first time, only to lose to a Kerry side which has since performed above all expectations at Liam MacCarthy level.
Elsewhere, Kilkenny and Cork both start as expected for tomorrow's mouthwatering All-Ireland senior camogie decider, with Ann Downey's Cats out to bridge a 22-year title gap.
GALWAY (U-21HC v Waterford) - C Tuohy; C Jennings, D O'Donoghue, D Cronin; V Doyle, S Cooney, S Loftus; D Nevin, D Dolan; K McHugo, B Molloy, S Linnane; T Monaghan, C Whelan, E Burke.
WATERFORD (U-21HC v Galway) - J Henley; W Hahessy, C Gleeson, D Lyons; M Harney, A Gleeson, C Prunty; M O'Brien, C Roche; S Bennett, T Devine, DJ Foran; P Curran, S Bennett, M Kearney .
KILKENNY (SC v Cork) - E Kavanagh; J Frisby, D Tobin, C Dormer; C Phelan, E Keane, M Farrell; A Farrell, A Dalton; D Gaule, JA Malone, K Power; M Quilty, M Walsh, S Farrell.
CORK (SC v Kilkenny) - A Murray; P Mackey, L Treacy, L O'Sullivan; M Cahalane, G O'Connor, R Buckley; O Cotter, A Thompson; H Looney, O Cronin, E O'Sullivan; A O'Connor, B Corkery, K Mackey.