Saturday 18 November 2017

Healy will not face Dubs -- McCarthy

Cliona Foley

Cliona Foley

LAOIS manager Teddy McCarthy has dismissed rumours that he might spring Cahir Healy off the bench in tomorrow's Leinster SHC quarter-final against Dublin in Tullamore.

The Portlaoise dual star did not line out for the hurlers in their preliminary-round victory over Carlow as he was committed to the footballers, who had a championship clash with Longford the next day.

The footballers aren't in action again now until the qualifiers (starting June 30) and that, plus the fact that Healy answered the hurlers' call for this year's league relegation play-off, had raised speculation that he might return quickly to strengthen their hand against the highly-rated Dubs.

But the Laois boss says that Healy's work commitments in Britain -- he's been commuting for games all year -- have stopped him from rejoining them, for the moment at least.

"We haven't seen Cahir since the Wexford game as he's working in England at the moment," McCarthy explained. "He's due back home today (Friday), but, realistically, he wouldn't be in a position to play a championship match having done no training with us.

"I believe he finishes up working in England around the end of June, so, if we're still involved in the championship at that stage, we will re-assess the situation then."

The difference between the two teams is underlined by their recent underage records.

Dublin have contested nine U-21 provincial hurling finals in the past 11 years and won the last two, while Laois haven't reached a single decider for 22 years.

At minor level, the Dubs have contested five Leinster finals and won three in the last 12 years, whereas it is 21 years since the Laois minors reached a final.

For all that, McCarthy is looking forward to the challenge, declaring: "Games against the likes of Dublin are just what you need to show what kind of progress you are making as a team.

"The players' confidence really picked up after the win over Carlow. Since that there has been a terrific buzz in the camp."

Dublin will definitely be without Ryan O'Dwyer, who is serving the second of a two-game suspension picked up in the late stages of the Allianz League.

Anthony Daly must also plan without Ross O'Carroll (thigh), Paul Schutte (knee) and Martin Quilty (cruciate).

Irish Independent

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