Sunday 18 February 2018

In brief: Exams delay next date in epic clash

DUBLIN and Kildare's epic Leinster minor football tussle is unlikely to be resolved for a full month because of its proximity to the Leaving Cert, which begins next week, WRITES CLIONA FOLEY.

The sides have not been separated by 160 minutes of action -- two drawn games, with extra-time in each -- and, because of the exams, the next available date for the quarter-final replay is June 26.

But the Dublin minor hurlers are already playing Wexford in the Leinster semi-finals on that date, which has increased speculation that the football replay will be moved back to a mid-week date of June 30.

Leinster Council has yet to confirm the minor replay date but did announce yesterday that their senior hurling semi-finals will be played as a double-header in Portlaoise on Sunday, June 20.

Kilkenny will play Dublin or Laois (2.0), followed by Galway versus Offaly (4.0).

Wicklow boost as Hyland fit to return

WICKLOW have been handed a boost with the news that defender Ciaran Hyland will be fit for Sunday's Leinster SFC clash with Westmeath.

Hyland missed the win over Carlow due to a neck injury but the 2009 All Star nominee is set for a return against the Lake County in Tullamore.

"Ciaran's re-availability considerably strengthens our defensive options, and it's great to have a player of his calibre and experience back with us again," said selector Kevin O'Brien.

Hyland's return is timely as wing-back Patrick McWalter will miss the rest of the season after injuring his kneecap badly against the Barrowsiders.

Attacker Paul Earls and Stephen Canavan, who replaced McWalter in that game, are also slight injury concerns.

Louth sweat on Lennon fitness

Louth manager Peter Fitzpatrick is clinging onto hope that full-forward Shane Lennon will be fit for Sunday's Leinster SFC clash with Kildare.

Lennon, who hit a goal in the win over Longford, will visit a hand specialist in a bid to overcome thumb damage in time.

However, midfielder Ronan Carroll will miss out after picking up a knee injury on club duty.

Full-back Mullane a doubt for Limerick

Limerick manager Mickey Ned O'Sullivan has a doubt over Conor Mullane ahead of Sunday's Munster SFC semi-final clash with Waterford in Dungarvan.

The full-back picked up a hamstring injury in training, but Limerick are otherwise at full strength.

Irish Independent

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