RISING stars Shane Dowling and Conor Allis have been handed their first championship appearances in the Limerick senior hurling team to play Tipperary in Sunday’s Munster championship quarter-final.
The duo are both named in the half forward line for the Semple Stadium clash and are among four members of last year’s successful county U-21 side to line-out in the forward division that also includes team captain David Breen.
Indeed Limerick and Munster club champions Na Piarsaigh provide three of the attacking sextet with Dowling, Breen and Kevin Downes.
Aside from the Na Piarsaigh trio, Kilmallock are the only other club with more than one representative in a team that covers 12 different clubs.
The selection of Kevin Downes at full forward means that Niall Moran misses out.
Another to miss out is Brian Geary, with Richie McCarthy getting the nob at full back from manager John Allen and selectors; John Kiely and Eamonn Meskell.
McCarthy makes the switch from attack, where he lined out against Waterford in the Munster SHC last season and was indeed the team’s free-taker.
Another reverting to a defensive role is regular midfielder Donal O’Grady.
He lines out at centre back with Wayne McNamara and Gavin O’Mahony either side of the Granagh-Ballingarry man.
O’Grady is the only surviving member of the side that beat Tipperary in the epic trilogy of 2007. That was the last Munster championship clash of Sunday’s opponents, although the neighbours did meet in the All-Ireland semi-final of 2009, when Tipp were landslide 6-19 to 2-7 winners.
Limerick selected from a near full strength squad with Seamus Hickey (broken bone in his elbow) the only player not available for selection.
That means that Limerick will have strong options from the substitute’s bench with Brian Geary and Niall Moran offering experience, while Declan Hannon should also see action at some stage.
The teenager missed all of the league with a groin injury but returned to training two weeks ago and management have confirmed he will be available if needed.
LIMERICK - Nickie Quaid (Effin); Stephen Walsh (Glenroe), Richie McCarthy (Blackrock), Tom Condon (Knockaderry); Wayne McNamara (Adare), Donal O’Grady (Granagh-Ballingarry), Gavin O’Mahony (Kilmallock); James Ryan (Garryspillane), Paul Browne (Bruff); Shane Dowling (Na Piarsaigh), Conor Allis (Croom), David Breen (Na Piarsaigh); Graeme Mulcahy (Kilmallock), Kevin Downes (Na Piarsaigh), Sean Tobin (Murroe-Boher). Subs: Aaron Murphy (Hospital-Herbertstown), Shane O’Neill (South Liberties), Brian Geary (Monaleen), Tomas Ryan (South Liberties), Paudie O’Brien (Kilmallock), David Moloney (Blackrock), Thomas O’Brien (Patrickswell), Declan Hannon (Adare), Niall Moran (Ahane), Sean O’Brien (Patrickswell), Niall Maher (Doon).