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Dubs give panellists a runout ahead of Cats semi

Kilkenny have been confirmed as Dublin's Leinster Minor Hurling Championship semi-final opponents following their facile 7-16 to 1-9 qualifier win over Kildare in Newbridge last Saturday afternoon.

The counties are scheduled to meet in five weeks' time and the Dubs continued their preparations with a 4-17 to 2-10 victory over Antrim at St Mobhi Road at the weekend.

The exercise proved useful as many fringe panellists were afforded some valuable match time and the return from injury of Rónán Ó Broin (inset) from St Oliver Plunkett's/Eoghan Ruadh was another bonus according to manager Pat Fanning.

"We didn't play any of the starters from our win over Offaly a fortnight ago so it was positive to see some of our panel spend some decent time out on the pitch," he said.

"Rónán was playing his first real game of the year after being out for a long while and he looked very sharp, hitting 2-4 against what I considered quite a decent Antrim full-back.

"Colm O'Neill at centre-forward was another to do well while Seán Gray's free-taking was exceptional so all these displays help build the depth of the panel and increase competition for places," added Fanning.

MATURITY

The Na Fianna clubman also praised the display of centre-back Ciarán Brady, with the Faughs U16 player showing great maturity throughout.

However, Laois' surprisingly comfortable win over Offaly on Saturday has confirmed what a competitive provincial championship Leinster has become this year with further twists and turns expected before the summer is out.

Fanning said: "I think Laois' win puts our victory over Offaly into perspective and highlights our need to develop over the next few weeks.

"Laois have bounced back well after losing to Kilkenny earlier in the year and they'll fancy their chances against Wexford in the semi-finals.

"It is really all to play for now."


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