Thursday 19 October 2017

Mooney itching to get back in thick of things for Ireland

John Mooney is aiming to return for Ireland after his struggle with a stress-related illness over the winter. Photo: Brendan Moran / SPORTSFILE
John Mooney is aiming to return for Ireland after his struggle with a stress-related illness over the winter. Photo: Brendan Moran / SPORTSFILE

Ian Callender

John Mooney has declared he is ready to return for Ireland after his stress-related illness which forced him to come home early from the winter tour to the Caribbean.

Speaking as Leinster Lightning captain after this week's four-wickets victory against the North West Warriors, in their first defence of the Newstalk Inter-provincial championship, Mooney said he was ready to come back.

"I'm training and doing everything as normal. It's something I have to go ahead and deal with and I'm doing that and playing really well, although I would love to be scoring more runs," he said.

"If selected to go to Australia and New Zealand in September (for a four-week tour as preparation for next year's World Cup Down Under), I can't see it being a problem if I look after myself the way I should be.

"But the goal is to play every single game for Ireland and I'm looking no further than the Sri Lanka A series in the north in July."

This weekend, Mooney leads North County into a Leinster League and Irish Cup double-header against Pembroke at Balrothery today before heading north west on Sunday for their rearranged first-round game against Ardmore, a game when he will again be up against former Ireland star Decker Curry.

"He was his tough gritty self when he played against us in the first (abandoned) match," said Mooney, who said today's game was just as important, with both sides in the middle of the league table.

Elsewhere in Division One today, Merrion and YMCA are favourites to make it four wins out of four in home games against Railway Union and Terenure respectively, while Clontarf, in third, face The Hills.

There are three Irish Cup games in Dublin tomorrow. Merrion and Leinster will be expected to get past Muckamore and Fox Lodge respectively, but Phoenix will have to upset Brigade.

Irish Independent

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