Monday 19 February 2018

Fives returns in experienced Déise side to face Rebels

Derek McGrath Photo: Sportsfile
Derek McGrath Photo: Sportsfile

Michael Verney

Waterford boss Derek McGrath has stuck with the tried and tested for the Munster SHC semi-final clash with Cork tomorrow (4.0), with defender Darragh Fives recalled for his first competitive appearance in nearly 12 months.

The Tourin defender played no part in this year's League campaign as he recovered from a quad injury but he has proven his fitness and is the only change from the Déise's All-Ireland semi-final replay defeat to Kilkenny last August.

Jake Dillon loses out, while there's no place for All-Star Maurice Shanahan, although that may change before the Thurles throw-in, with McGrath regularly making late personnel changes.

Kieran Kingston has kept faith with the Rebel side which sensationally knocked out reigning provincial and All-Ireland champions Tipperary but there are major concerns over the participation of Conor Lehane, who picked up an ankle injury in training.

Clare, who await the winner in the Munster final, are sweating on the fitness of David McInerney after the Tulla defender picked up a hamstring injury on club duty and is only rated "50-50" by management for the July 9 tie.

McInerney would be a huge loss if he misses out for the 2013 All-Ireland champions but it's not all bad news for joint-managers Gerry O'Connor and Donal Moloney, with Oisín O'Brien's return to training.

The Clonlara corner-back was sidelined with a cruciate strain last October but returned in February, before suffering a fresh setback, but he has recovered much quicker than expected and trained with the squad on Thursday night.

With doubts surrounding McInerney's availability, specialist man-marker O'Brien could play some part as Clare bid for their first Munster crown since 1997.

Meanwhile, Galway make two changes for their Leinster semi-final with Offaly as John Hanbury replaces cruciate victim Paul Killeen in defence, while Niall Burke comes in for Joseph Cooney in attack.


Irish Independent

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