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Murphy and Rice return for semi-final showdown

Kilkenny have made just two changes for tomorrow's Allianz league semi-final against arch-rivals Galway and, despite their injury troubles, still start with 10 of last year's All-Ireland final replay team, including surprise package Walter Walsh.

Paul Murphy returns from injury to his customary corner-back role and Michael Rice replaces the injured Michael Fennelly to partner Lester Ryan in midfield.

Galway have made one switch, with Damien Hayes replacing the injured Niall Burke, but, in several positional switches up front, Joe Canning has been named at full-forward.

Dublin, who face Tipperary, have made just one change from the side that won the Division 1B final, bringing David Treacy in at corner-forward in place of flu victim Paul Ryan.

Alan Nolan has held onto the goalkeeper's jersey, but Gary Maguire, who has recovered from an eye injury is on their bench. Joey Boland is named at midfield, despite speculation that he will switch with Liam Rushe and start at centre-back.

Meanwhile, Hawk-Eye could be extended to other stadia outside of Croke Park after the GAA successfully sealed a sponsorship deal for it.

Approval from Congress last month, and the ironing out of a range of technical issues over the past two years, means the score-detection technology – which had to be specially adapted for Gaelic games – is finally ready to go ahead and will start operating on June 1.

stressed

The GAA have always stressed that the high cost involved was the reason preventing it from being used anywhere else and have said it will be limited to Croke Park for the first two years.

But the fact that an announcement of a sponsor is imminent could open up opportunities to expand it to other stadia in the near future, especially those that host live TV games.

The first time Hawk-Eye will officially operate is for a Leinster SFC quarter-final double-header, involving Kildare versus Offaly and Dublin against Carlow or Westmeath.

The specially adapted technology, designed to prevent some of the scoring controversies of recent seasons, has been rigorously tested over two years. However, the GAA has always stressed that it is not 'goal-line technology' but will simply be used to verify whether a football or sliotar has travelled inside the posts or not.

KILKENNY (SH v Galway) – E Murphy; P Murphy, JJ Delaney, J Tyrrell; T Walsh, B Hogan, K Joyce; L Ryan, M Rice; W Walsh, R Power, E Larkin; C Fennelly, R Hogan, A Fogarty.

Galway (SH ) – C Callanan; F Moore, K Hynes, N Donoghue; A Harte, D Collins, J Coen; I Tannian, J Cooney; C Donnellan, C Cooney, D Burke; D Glennon, J Canning, D Hayes.

DUBLIN (SH v Tipperary) – A Nolan; P Kelly, P Schutte, R Treanor; M Carton, L Rushe, S Durkin; J Boland, S Lambert; C Keaney, J McCaffrey, D Sutcliffe; C McCormack, D O'Callaghan, D Treacy.

• The Electric Ireland Munster minor hurling semi-final playoff between Waterford and Clare, postponed earlier this week due to weather, has been refixed for Wednesday May 1 in Dungarvan (7.0) with free admission.

Irish Independent


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