Daly hails dual star Ryan as he calls time on inter-county Dubs career
DUBLIN dual star Shane Ryan (33) has announced his retirement from inter-county hurling due to a persistent back injury.
The Naomh Mearnog clubman won six Leinster senior football medals with Dublin and was a football All Star in 2008 before returning to the county hurling squad in 2009.
He scored a point when he came off the bench against Tipperary in last year's All-Ireland semi-final but his back problem has seriously restricted his training this year, forcing him to call it a day mid-season.
"I'll always remember the big wins but unfortunately it's hard to forget the big losses," he said. "But it's been a privilege to play with Dublin, I've been delighted to devote my life to it."
Dublin manager Anthony Daly said: "Shane's had such an illustrious career and was unfortunate not to win an All-Ireland medal."
Elsewhere, Longford's David Barden has returned to full fitness in time for Sunday's big Leinster SFC opener against Laois. Barden missed Longford's Division 3 final victory but now returns at the expense of Padraig McCormack in an otherwise unchanged team.
Limerick's Tom Lee, who missed all of the league as he was travelling abroad, starts in midfield for their Munster SFC clash with Waterford.
Experienced forwards Tommy Fitzgerald and Willie Hyland will lead the Laois attack in their Leinster SHC opener against Carlow tomorrow.
Westmeath's footballers are without injured defensive star Kieran Gavin for their championship opener with Louth.
LONGFORD (SF v Laois) -- D Sheridan; D Brady, B Gilleran, D Reilly; C Smyth, M Quinn, S Mulligan; G McElvanney, J Keegan; D Barden, P Barden, N Mulligan; D McElligot, B Kavanagh, S McCormack.
LIMERICK (SF v Waterford) -- B Scanlon; J McCarthy, P Brown, L O'Dwyer; S Lavin, J Riordan, P Ranahan; T Lee, P Kinnerk; E Barry, E O'Connor, S Buckley; G Collins, S O'Carroll, I Ryan.
WESTMEATH (SF v Louth) -- G Connaughton; M Curley, J Gaffey, K Maguire; D Harte, M Ennis, D McDermott; J Heslin, P Bannon; K Martin, G Egan, J Dolan; Denis Glennon, David Glennon, P Sharry.
LAOIS (SH v Carlow) -- E Reilly; C Coonan, D Maher, G Burke; C Dunne, M Whelan, M McEvoy; J Walsh, S Hanlon; S Maher, B Dunne, W Hyland; T Fitzgerald, N Foyle, D O'Mahoney.
CARLOW (SH v Laois) -- F Foley; A Corcoran, E Nolan, E Coady; J Corcoran, S Kavanagh, R Coady; J Kavanagh, A Gaule; E Byrne, J Kane, C Doyle; M Kavanagh, M Brennan, D Roberts.
WESTMEATH (SH v Antrim) -- S McGovern; C Jordan, A Price, P Fennell; P Dowdall, A McGrath, P Greville; A Clarke, J Clarke; B Murtagh, F Boyle, R Greville; N O'Brien, J Shaw, E Price.
Who is your sportstar of the year?
Vote in the Irish Independent Sport Star Awards and you could win the ultimate sports prize.
Prizes include, tickets to Ireland's against Scotland in the Six Nations, All Ireland football and hurling final tickets and much more.