Counihan, Fitzgerald wait on U-21s
Published 02/06/2010 | 05:00
SENIOR county managers Conor Counihan and Davy Fitzgerald will be sweating on the fitness of some of their players when Waterford take on Cork in the Munster U-21 hurling championship quarter-final at Pairc Ui Chaoimh tonight.
Rebel football boss Counihan faces an anxious wait to see if Aidan Walsh comes through unscathed.
The Kanturk man, who has been named at half-forward tonight, is expected to play some part when the county's senior footballers take on Kerry in the Munster SFC semi-final in Killarney on Sunday.
Fitzgerald, meanwhile, will be hoping that Maurice Shanahan, Noel Connors and Steven Daniels emerge unharmed, with Waterford due to open their Munster SHC campaign against Clare at Semple Stadium next Monday.
With eight players returning from the side that lost last year's Munster final to eventual All-Ireland champions Clare, Waterford are expected to provide a stiff challenge to Cork.
They also include some players from the De La Salle school that won back-to-back Croke Cups in 2007 and 2008.
However, in Conor O'Sullivan, Lorcan McLoughlin, Cian McCarthy and Luke O'Farrell, manager Ger Fitzgerald includes four of the senior squad that beat Tipperary so spectacularly last Sunday, while William Egan has recovered sufficiently from a shoulder injury to captain the team from centre-back.
Home advantage is a major factor in favour of the Cork men, with the carrot of a semi-final date with Tipperary on July 15 hanging in front of them.
Cork U-21 -- C McCarthy; S McDonnell, E Keane, C O'Sullivan; J Nagle, W Egan, L McLoughlin; D Kearney, S Farrell; M Bowles, C McCarthy, A Walsh; R Clifford, T Murphy, L O'Farrell
Waterford U-21 -- S O'Keeffe; S Kearney, B Coughlan, N Connors; J Prendergast, P Mahony, S Daniels; S Fives, O Whelan; R Fenton, S Ahearne, S Kearney; B O'Sullivan, M Shanahan, T Ryan.