Saturday 17 March 2018

Davy Fitz keeps the faith

Cliona Foley

Cliona Foley

WATERFORD boss Davy Fitzgerald has kept faith with his veterans as they try to take out Kilkenny at the third time of asking in an All-Ireland hurling semi-final in the last eight years.

The Decies boss has gone with the same starting 15 that successfully exorcised their seven-goal Munster final defeat by Tipperary against Galway last time out for tomorrow's mouth-watering repeat of the 2009 and 2004 semi-finals.

Liam Lawlor holds onto the full-back spot, Kevin Moran and Shane O'Sullivan stay at midfield and after reportedly being rested extensively in the past fortnight to recover from hamstring twinges, Tony Browne and Michael 'Brick' Walsh are both named in the half-back line. There is just one positional switch in the Waterford forwards where Seamus Prendergast retains a wing-forward slot.

After being selected at centre-forward against Galway, John Mullane is restored to his usual corner-forward position and team captain Stephen Molumphy returns to the No 11 jersey.

Brian Cody has also stuck with his winning team, picking the same 15 that demonstrated a return to form by ramming four goals past Dublin in the Leinster final. Michael Rice partners Michael Fennelly in midfield, TJ Reid and Eoin Larkin are picked at wing-forward and Henry Shefflin is selected at full-forward.

But jersey numbers are expected to mean nothing once the sliotar is thrown in and Kilkenny can afford to keep Eddie Brennan, 'Cha' Fitzpatrick and John Dalton among the reserves on the Cats' bench.

WATERFORD (SH v Kilkenny) -- C Hennessy; D Fives, L Lawlor, N Connors; T Browne, M Walsh, D O'Sullivan; K Moran, S O'Sullivan; S Prendergast, S Molumphy, P Mahony; J Mullane, S Walsh, E Kelly.

KILKENNY -- D Herity; P Murphy, N Hickey, J Tyrrell; T Walsh, B Hogan, JJ Delaney; M Fennelly, M Rice; TJ Reid, R Power, E Larkin; C Fennelly, H Shefflin, R Hogan.

Irish Independent

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