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O'Neill comes in from the cold

LIMERICK hurling boss Pad Joe Whelahan has given a recall to 1996 All-Ireland final representative Owen O'Neill for Sunday's Allianz HL Division One top section clash with Waterford.

Thirty-year-old O'Neill, recently recalled to the Limerick panel, comes in at full-forward in a re-shuffled attack in which half-forward Paul O'Grady loses out.

To accommodate Murroe-Boher clubman O'Neill, Sean O'Connor moves to left half-forward from where Donnacha Sheehan crosses to the other wing.

Whelahan has made two other personnel changes to the side which romped to a 3-21 to 1-15 win over Antrim. Croom's John Cahill regains the goalkeeping spot from Albert Shanahan, and Patrickswell's Peter O'Reill come in at midfield for centre-back Pat Sheehan. The No 6 spot is taken by Ollie Moran, who was at midfield against the Glensmen.

After an unimpressive start which saw Limerick lose their opening two league outings against Cork and Tipperary, Whelahan's charges bounced back in style with victories over Offaly and Wexford.

Not surprisingly, the Banagher man is very pleased with way his side have turned things around in their last three ties. "I wasn't really worried about the quality of our performances against Cork and Tipperary, as we had very little hurling done before those games," explained Whelahan.

"And once we were able to get more time working on our ball skills I was optimistic that there would be a major improvement in the way we would play.

"But we're under no illusions about how difficult it's going to be in the league matches, and we'll probably be doing very well to win one of them.

"Waterford are going through a good spell at the moment, and any side that beats Kilkenny at Nowlan Park, and runs Clare to two points at Cusack Park, has to have a lot going for it."

Meanwhile, Ronan Curran could return to the Cork side for Sunday's clash with Galway at Pearse Stadium if he emerges unscathed from a football championship fixture with his club St Finbarr's tonight.

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Curran missed the draw with Tipperary because of a finger injury. Cork boss Donal O'Grady has decided to postpone selection of his side until tonight because, in addition to Curran, a number of his squad will be involved in football action.

LIMERICK (SH v Waterford) - J Cahill; M Cahill, TJ Ryan, B Carroll; D Reale, O Moran, M Foley; P O'Reilly, P Tobin; D Sheehan, JP Sheehan, S O'Connor; A O'Shaughnessy, O O'Neill, D Ryan.

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