Limerick hurlers close to full strength for Dublin tie

Jerome O’Connell


Jerome O’Connell

Limerick's Richie McCarthy and Stephen Walsh ever present in the full back line
LIMERICK’S hurlers will be close to full strength for the first time in 2015 in Saturday’s Allianz Hurling League quarter final against Dublin.

LIMERICK’S hurlers will be close to full strength for the first time in 2015 in Saturday’s Allianz Hurling League quarter final against Dublin.

Manager TJ Ryan has confirmed that just injured forward Kevin Downes will miss the tie, which is live on TG4.

The Kilmallock contingent return to the panel and are available for selection in Croke Park, where they lost the All Ireland club final just 10 days ago.

“Outside of Kevin Downes, I think we will be picking from everybody,” said TJ Ryan.

Shane Dowling returns from suspension while Wayne McNamara, Seamus Hickey and Tom Condon are back from injury.

“I think the injury front is pretty good - outside of Kevin Downes I am expecting we will have everybody available next week - that’s my expectation now,” said Ryan.

After the disappointment of again missing out on promotion Limerick are bidding to reach a league semi final against Cork or Wexford.

It’s a good opportunity for us - it’s a quarter final of a national competition and a game we are targeting to win. This whole Division 1A and Division 1B is disappointing because we wanted to win it from the outset and we didn’t but right now we are playing against a Division 1A side and have an opportunity to get to a semi-final,” explained Ryan.

“The show rolls on to next weekend - that’s a good opportunity for us, a quarter final of the league and it’s a game we want to win.”

TJ Ryan wants his side to use the Dublin game to sparkle ahead of the countdown to the Munster SHC quarter final against Clare on May 24 in Thurles.

“We can still make a silver lining. We wanted to win Division 1B and that didn’t happen and nothing we can do now only get on with it.”

He added: “we want to win a quarter final and get to a semi final”.

While much attention will focus on the hurling encounter in Dublin, the Limerick footballers also race a massive test this weekend.

They entertain Clare in Newcastle West on Sunday in a relegation derby clash in Division Three of the Allianz Football League.

Both Shannonside counties are battling to avoid a drop to the basement division ahead of the final round of games on April 5.

Limerick have been boosted by the return of experienced defender Pa Ranahan after an extended break.

Manager John Brudair is also hoping that key forward Ian Ryan could be ready for his first appearance of the year after under going an ankle injury last Autumn.

U-21 players Sean O’Dea and Cian Sheehan missed the last game to Fermanagh but could be back in contention for starting roles.

Meanwhile, Limerick GAA have confirmed the fixture details for the semi finals of the Premier U-21 hurling championship.

Both takes place next Monday evening at 8.00.

Champions Na Piarsaigh play Adare in St Patrick’s GAA grounds in Rhebogue

The Gaelic Grounds will host the clash of Patrickswell and Doon.