Monday 19 March 2018

Collins back for Galway as Daly keeps faith with winning side

Cliona Foley

Cliona Foley

DUBLIN boss Anthony Daly has kept faith with the same starting 15 that claimed a historic victory over Kilkenny last week for tomorrow's Leinster senior hurling final.

But defending champions Galway have made two changes from their semi-final.

Captain David Collins returns from injury to replace Aidan Harte in the half-back line and James Regan comes in to partner Iarla Tannian at midfield, at the expense of Andy Smith.

The game has been somewhat overshadowed by today's unprecedented qualifier between Kilkenny and Tipperary – it is the first Leinster final since 2004 not to feature the Cats.

It is also only the second championship meeting between the two – the first was the 2011 Leinster semi-final when Dublin, led by Paul Ryan's free-taking, won 0-19 to 2-7.

Galway are favourites on the basis of being the defending Leinster champions but their form is the big unknown coming into this one.

Their only game has been against Laois, while Dublin have already played four times – they went to replays against both Wexford and Kilkenny – and are now playing for the fifth week in a row.

But, having beaten Kilkenny for the first time since 1942, they are now just one victory away from winning the Bob O'Keeffe Cup for the first time in 52 years, and the prospect of not winning it, after already knocking out Kilkenny and Wexford, should prove a huge motivation.

Elsewhere, there is heavy speculation that Cork will make three changes to the side they have named to start in tomorrow's Munster football final.

Donnacha O'Connor, Aidan Walsh and Noel O'Leary were among the high-profile names included on their bench but they are all tipped to start in Killarney, where Kerry will be looking for revenge after losing to the Rebels in last year's Munster semi-final.

Irish Independent

Sport Newsletter

The best sport action straight to your inbox every morning.

Editor's Choice

Also in Sport