O'Grady bangs burnout drum in bid to have U-21 semi-final pushed back
LIMERICK have asked for their Munster U-21 HC semi-final against Clare, which is scheduled for next week, to be postponed to alleviate the pressure on three of the county's senior stars.
Clare have agreed to accommodate them but it all now hangs on the decision of Munster Council. Limerick senior manager Donal O'Grady has already warned of the danger of burnout affecting teenagers Declan Hannon and Kevin Downes and corner-forward Graeme Mulcahy.
They are all due to line out for the U-21s against the Banner on Thursday week, just a few days ahead of the county's All-Ireland hurling championship quarter-final against Dublin.
"If the GAA are serious about burnout they'll have to put the U-21 game back," O'Grady said. "From a purely medical, burnout and prevention of injury point-of-view, you wouldn't play a full match on a Thursday and then go back out on Saturday and Sunday and play a full match again. That's a recipe for disaster."
Limerick already have an injury worry over full-forward Downes, who had to be taken off at half-time against Antrim last Saturday with a calf injury. Key midfielder Donal 'Dodge' O'Grady also had to come off with a shoulder injury that is believed to be even more serious.
The Shannonsiders' current inter-county schedule is especially hectic as their intermediate hurlers play Clare in the Munster final tomorrow night. Limerick are using the intermediate grade to blood an U-24 development squad so nine of that team are also on the U-21s who are due to play the Banner again eight days later.
The last round-robin stage of the county SHC has been postponed to July 31 in an effort to take the pressure off their county players. It's believed that Limerick are looking to have the U-21 semi-final delayed until the Tuesday after their seniors' quarter-final (July 26).
"We put in a request to Munster Council yesterday for a postponement and are just hoping they will accede to our request," said county secretary Mike O'Riordan yesterday.
Limerick's senior footballers are also still involved in the All-Ireland qualifiers, beating Offaly convincingly last weekend to meet Waterford in an all-Munster clash on Saturday.
They were without dual stars Mark O'Riordan and Stephen Lucey -- who opted to play with the hurlers on the same day -- for the Faithful county clash.
And even though there is no such clash this week, football boss Maurice Horan will be without them again as the pair have committed themselves to the county hurlers at present.