Wednesday 21 February 2018

Power receives all-clear for Dubs clash

Cliona Foley

Cliona Foley

DESPITE a late injury scare, Richie Power will be fit to line out for Kilkenny in Sunday's Leinster SHC clash with Dublin, but John Tennyson and James 'Cha' Fitzpatrick will have to sit it out.

There was some doubt about Power when he injured a finger in training last weekend, but it was not as bad as feared and he will be available.

Both Tennyson (groin) and Fitzpatrick (hamstring) picked up more serious injuries in club games.

Fitzpatrick is only back jogging so he will probably still be a doubt should Kilkenny qualify for the Leinster final on July 4.

Fitzpatrick was dogged by illness (the mumps) and injury (a broken hand) last year, but he bounced back by winning another All-Ireland club title with Ballyhale Shamrocks this year and returned to the Kilkenny starters for their last league game against Waterford.

Tennyson is expected back sooner and was a regular starter, in several positions, during this year's league.

He was picked at centre-back in last year's Leinster final against Dublin, but had moved to wing-back by the time of the All-Ireland final.

Dublin, who did not look particularly convincing when beating Laois, have injury worries over full-back Tomas Brady, David O'Callaghan and David Treacy, while defender Ronan Fallon has withdrawn from the panel.

Former Kilkenny star DJ Carey warned yesterday that the Cats will be particularly dangerous after their worst league form in several years.

"Kilkenny are going to be strong," said the nine-time All Star. "The whole team really only started training after the league, thinking that there's eight weeks or so to Dublin.

"They would have looked at the struggle last year and said 'if we can get down to harder training later in the year, hopefully we can time it.' "

Carey predicts that Kilkenny will launch their historic 'drive for five' with a relatively comfortable victory against Dublin. "There's no point in being silly, Kilkenny should win and you'd expect them to win by five or six points," he added.

"Dublin are very good hurlers and one of these years they will win a Leinster and an All-Ireland."

Irish Independent

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