Friday 23 March 2018

Cody rings the changes as he looks to build experience for championship

Kilkenny manager Brian Cody
Kilkenny manager Brian Cody
Martin Breheny

Martin Breheny

Brian Cody's determination to use as many permutations as possible in advance of the Leinster championship has prompted three changes on the Kilkenny team for tomorrow's Allianz Hurling League final with Tipperary in Thurles (3.30).

Brian Hogan, Walter Walsh and John Power lose out to Jackie Tyrrell, Joey Holden and Richie Power, alterations which have also brought about a number of positional adjustments.

Holden, a newcomer this season, missed the semi-final but is recalled at right half-back, allowing Padraig Walsh to return to midfield alongside Michael Fennelly. Tyrell replaces Brian Hogan at centre-back, while Richie Hogan switches from midfield to wing-forward in place of Walter Walsh. Richie Power replaces his brother John at corner-forward.

The decision of Cody to stick with newcomers Brian Kennedy, Holden, Pádraig Walsh and Mark Kelly in the last game before the championship emphasises his commitment to expanding the big-time experience in a panel which sees such famous names as Tommy Walsh, Brian Hogan, Eoin Larkin, Aidan Fogarty, Kieran Joyce, David Herity and Walter Walsh on the subs' bench.

Kilkenny are bidding to create history by becoming the first team from the county to win the league title in three successive years, a feat last achieved by Tipperary from 1959-61. Tipperary last won the league title in 2008.

Tipperary will announce their team today.

Meanwhile, O'Connor Park, Tullamore will host the big football action when Dublin and Roscommon meet in the Cadbury All-Ireland U-21 final today (3.0).

Dublin are seeking their fourth All-Ireland title – the third in five seasons – while Roscommon are bidding for their third title and their first since 1978.

Dublin, managed by Dessie Farrell, beat Cavan in the semi-final, while Roscommon, managed by Nigel Dineen, beat Cork.

Kilkenny (SH v Tipperary) – E Murphy; P Murphy, JJ Delaney, B Kennedy; J Holden, J Tyrrell, C Buckley; M Fennelly, P Walsh; R Hogan, C Fennelly, TJ Reid; R Power, M Kelly, H Shefflin.

Irish Independent

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