Sunday 25 February 2018

Hickey call-up as Cats suffer Delaney blow

Cliona Foley

Cliona Foley

KILKENNY will go into tomorrow's Leinster final defence against Galway without defensive legend JJ Delaney.

The Fenians great has not recovered from the finger injury he suffered against Dublin and, like their injured 2011 Player of the Year Michael Fennelly (ankle), is not even among the subs.

But Kilkenny have an able and equally experienced replacement in Noel Hickey to slot in at full-back -- and this is the Cats' only change from the side that trounced Dublin.

Colin Fennelly, who has reportedly trained very little since, is named at corner-forward, and injury worries Eoin Larkin and Paul Murphy are also included.

The Tribesmen are boosted by the return of experienced defender David Collins to their starters.

The former captain missed Galway's opening two games with an ankle injury, but is back and selected to start at corner-back.

Collins' return sees Niall Donoghue move out to right half-back, Johnny Coen switch to the other wing; Joseph Cooney is the one to lose out.

But that is Galway's only change from the side that racked up 5-23 against Offaly as they meet Kilkenny for the second time in a Leinster final.

The Clare footballers have named an unchanged team for their first Munster final in 12 years, but their hurlers have made some radical switches ahead of tonight's qualifier clash with Anthony Daly's Dublin.

Two teenage debutants -- Tony Kelly and Seadna Morey -- are among five new Banner starters since the Waterford game -- the others being Fergal Lynch, Sean Collins and Darach Honan.

Out go Enda Barrett (injured), Colin Ryan, Pat O'Connor, James McInerney and Paudie Collins.

Irish Independent

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