Sport Hurling

Saturday 20 January 2018

Stars left out as Clare look to youth for Treaty opener

Carlow 0-21 Laois 1-15

Clare A manager Davy Fitzgerald and Conor Cooney
Clare A manager Davy Fitzgerald and Conor Cooney
Carlow's David English
Cliona Foley

Cliona Foley

None of the players who started for Clare in September's All-Ireland final are expected to play when the champions open their season in Sixmilebridge tomorrow.

Manager Davy Fitzgerald is set to field a very experimental selection against Munster champions Limerick in the Waterford Crystal Cup and use the competition primarily to run the rule over fringe players and several who broke through with the ranks with the Banner's All-Ireland winning U-21s last year.

Seadna Morey and Nicky O'Connell are the best known players likely to be included. Bobby Duggan (Clarecastle) and Shane Gleeson (Cratloe), who were both minors last year, are among those who have been called up.

Meanwhile, Straffan's Rob Kelly has not made the cut after Kildare football manager Jason Ryan jettisoned 14 players from his extended panel.

Veteran star Johnny Doyle is also a conspicuous absence, reportedly because is injured, but it is understood he has still to decide on his future.

He became a father of three at Christmas after the birth of twins but Ryan would likely welcome him back at any stage of the season.

The absence of Kelly is a surprise given his good early-season form at full-forward in the O'Byrne Cup.

Moorefield's David Whyte comes back into the fray for the first time in three years and there are nine newcomers on the panel, including Daroch Mulhall.

Mulhall is the only newcomer starting in the much more experienced side that new manager Ryan has selected for tomorrow's O'Byrne Cup semi-final with UCD in Newbridge.



Carlow got the better of Laois in the first inter-county game to be played on the all-weather pitch in Heywood Community School, Ballinakill.

The visitors settled quicker on the unfamiliar surroundings, with David English pointing a long-range free with less than a minute gone and he went on to score six more points.

Scorers -- Carlow: D English 0-7 (5fs, '65'), P Kehoe (2fs), S Murphy, A Gaule 0-3 each, J Doyle, C Wall 0-2 each, J Kane 0-1. Laois: Z Keenan 1-9 (1-7fs), M Whelan 0-3 (1f, 2 '65's), J Fitzpatrick, N Foyle, C Dwyer 0-1 each.

CARLOW -- B Tracey; C McCabe, M Ryan, D Wall; P Nolan, D English, M Doyle; P Kehoe, D Roberts; S Murphy, S Kavanagh, M Brennan; J Doyle, J Kane, A Gaule. Subs: C Wall for Nolan (46).

LAOIS -- E Reilly; B Stapleton, D Maher, JA Delaney; C Dunne, M Whelan, T Delaney; P Whelan, C Collier; Z Keenan, N Foyle, C Dwyer; B Reddin, T Fitzgerald, J Purcell. Subs: J Fitzpatrick for Dunne (h-t), D Palmer for Purcell (h-t), B Conroy for Reddin (h-t), B Campion for T Delaney (62).

Ref -- J Heffernan (Wexford)

Irish Independent

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