Downes faces anxious wait to be fit for U-21 semi-final

Jerome O’Connell

Reporter:

Jerome O’Connell

LIMERICK U-21 hurling captain Kevin Downes is awaiting results from a specialist to determine if he will be ready to lead his side in Saturday’s All-Ireland semi-final against Galway.

LIMERICK U-21 hurling captain Kevin Downes is awaiting results from a specialist to determine if he will be ready to lead his side in Saturday’s All-Ireland semi-final against Galway.

Downes cracked a bone in his knuckle last week and his hand was immediately placed in hard plaster after x-rays revealed the damage

But the Na Piarsaigh man has seen a specialist to ensure every effort is made to line out in Thurles’ Semple Stadium on Saturday evening (6.00).

A student in NUI Galway, Downes will be hoping to face his college colleagues Barry Daly and Joseph Cooney, who are two of the stars of a Galway side that is playing its first competitive game of the season.

Already Limerick will be without Cathal McNamara.

The Doon man started wing back against Clare and Cork in the Munster championship games but suffered a broken collar bone in club action on Friday.

McNamara was substituted during the Cork game by Na Piarsaigh’s James O’Brien and he appears a ready made replacement for the All-Ireland semi-final.

The McNamara injury will mean that manager Leo O’Connor and his selectors will be making at least one change to their team.

They will await news on captain Downes, with minor star Mark Carmody pushing for inclusion after he scored three points after replacing Michael Ryan against Cork in the Gaelic Grounds extra time thriller.

Limerick travelled to Thurles on Saturday afternoon for a training session in the match venue.

On the return home the panel had a lucky escape when the team bus was involved in a traffic accident in Dromkeen, as they travelled from Tipperary to Limerick on the main road.

“We were all very lucky , but we’re all OK. There was 25 of us left on the bus, after we had a couple of drop-offs,” revealed the Limerick manager Leo O’Connor.

TG4 have confirmed that Saturday’s game will be televised live.

Also Croke Park officials have revealed that the admission charges for the U-21 semi-final are €20 to the stands and €10 for the terraces. The entry to the stands for students will be €10. Juveniles are free of charge.

The Limerick and Galway game is the second part of a double-header in Thurles, with Cork and Kildare opening proceedings at 4.00 in the final of the All-Ireland junior football championship.