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Fanning faces injury worries


Chris Bennett, Dublin, in action against Sean Murphy, Wexford. Photo: Matt Browne / SPORTSFILE.

Chris Bennett, Dublin, in action against Sean Murphy, Wexford. Photo: Matt Browne / SPORTSFILE.

Chris Bennett, Dublin, in action against Sean Murphy, Wexford. Photo: Matt Browne / SPORTSFILE.

Dublin's minor hurling manager Pat Fanning will concern himself with a raft of injury concerns ahead of their Leinster Minor Hurling Championship first round clash against Wexford in less than three weeks' time.

Chris Bennett, Eoghan McHugh, Daragh Butler, Mark McCallion and Seán Grey all picked up knocks in Dublin's 4-13 to 1-16 defeat at the hands of Tipperary in Dr Morris Park, Thurles last Wednesday afternoon.

Bennett's injury looks the most serious, and he could well miss out on that provincial opener, although the remaining quartet are expected to recuperate in sufficient time for that meeting in Wexford Park on April 12.

A slow start cost Dublin dearly, with the Premier county extremely quick out of the traps and, with the aid of a very strong wind, the hosts built up a commanding lead over a tired looking Dublin outfit, who were clearly suffering from their exertions against Galway two days previously.

Half-time saw Dublin with a mountain to climb as they trailed by 3-11 to 0-4, but they regrouped during the interval and began playing to their potential in the second half.

Butler was one of Dublin's more impressive performers on the day, maintaining his fine recent form at corner-back, while Grey also chipped in with a few scores as the contest evolved.

Others to show well on the day were substitute Shane Howard and midfielder Donal Burke, with Bennett's goal and further points by Ryan McBride and Paul O'Dea helping to put a more respectable complexion on the scoreline at the final whistle.

"We played very well against Galway two days previously," said manager Fanning.


"Sadly, we didn't maintain our momentum and take another step forward.

"Apart from the Galway match, we haven't started matches especially well and we cannot afford to be slow out of the gates against this calibre of opposition.

"That is something we definitely need to address," added the minor manager.

Dublin will play their final challenge match prior to their Championship opener against Leinster rivals Wexford when facing Waterford in an away fixture this Friday evening.

The contest should provide Fanning with another opportunity to assess his charges against a Waterford team that were beaten by Wexford in a challenge game last weekend.

Dublin: Jonathan Treacy (Na Fianna); Tom Fox (Kilmacud Crokes), Shane Barrett (Na Fianna), Darragh Butler (Kilmacud Crokes); Paul O'Dea (Na Fianna), Jake Malone (Cuala), Ciarán Brady (Faughs); Rian McBride (St Vincent's), Donal Burke (Na Fianna); Seán Grey ( Whitehall Colmcille), Eoghan McHugh (Na Fianna), Chris Bennett (Faughs); Seán Ryan (Na Fianna), Con O'Callaghan (Cuala), Matthew Oliver (Na Fianna); Subs: Mark McCallion (Kilmacud Crokes for Fox, Shane Howard (Fingallians) for Brady, Fergal Whitely (Kilmacud Crokes) for Ryan, Eoin Ó Conghaile (Lucan Sarsfields) for McHugh, Seán Keating (Kilmacud Crokes) for Oliver, Eoghan Dunne (Naomh Mearnóg) for O'Callaghan, Gavin King (Na Fianna) for Bennett.