Limerick hurlers make five changes for Westmeath qualifier

Jerome O’Connell

Reporter:

Jerome O’Connell

TJ Ryan, Limerick manager, with team coach Paul Beary
THERE are five changes to the Limerick senior hurling team to face Westmeath in Sunday’s All Ireland SHC Qualifier.

THERE are five changes to the Limerick senior hurling team to face Westmeath in Sunday’s All Ireland SHC Qualifier.

The make or break clash has a 2.00 start in Mullingar with the sides battling for round two spot the followng Saturday against Cork, Wexford, Dublin, Laois or Offaly/Clare.

TJ Ryan and selectors have changed one third of their line-up that disappointed in the Munster semi final loss to Tipperary and made many positional switches.

Indeed just six players are selected in the same roles that they started in the Gaelic Grounds loss to Tipperary.

Out go All Star Seamus Hickey, captain Donal O’Grady, Declan Hannon, Stephen Walsh and goalkeeper Barry Hennessy.

Paul Browne and Nickie Quaid return after injury, while Seanie Tobin returns after suspension. Also back in the team are Wayne McNamara and Kevin Downes.

In the absence of captain Donal O’Grady, the team will be led by vice-captain Paudie O’Brien of Kilmallock.

Quaid returns in goals and in front of him is regular full back Richie McCarthy, albeit with two new corner backs Tom Condon and Seanie O’Brien - the two wing backs against Tipp and Clare.

The half back line selected is the trio that won Munster honours in 2013 - albeit Gavin O’Mahony is named at no6 with McNamara on the wing.

The previous midfield partnership of James Ryan and Paul Browne is also restored.

In attack, Seanie Tobin is named at centre forward, where he has sparkled of late for his club.

David Breen remains at wing forward with Shane Dowling moving from full forward to the other wing position.

Kevin Downes make his first start of the season at the edge of the square with Cian Lynch and Graeme Mulcahy remaining in the two corner forward roles.

It was thought that the team was to be kept under wraps until match time on Sunday, but was released to the media this Friday lunch-time by Limerick PRO Eamonnn Phelan. The team was announced to the players after training in LIT in Thursday evening.

LIMERICK: Nickie Quaid; Tom Condon, Richie McCarthy, Seanie O’Brien; Paudie O’Brien, Gavin O’Mahony, Wayne McNamra; James Ryan, Paul Browne; David Breen, Seanie Tobin, Shane Dowling; Cian Lynch, Kevin Downes, Graeme Mulcahy.