LIMERICK’S countdown to the National Hurling League has received a timely boost with the return to fitness of Tom Condon and Conor Allis.
The duo both played last weekend when Limerick faced Waterford in a challenge game in Mallow.
Limerick lost 1-12 to 0-8 in their final game ahead of the February 15 star of the league in Pairc Ui Rinn against Cork.
Also this week, TJ Ryan and Donal O’Grady have added two players to the previous 37 announced last month.
On the back of impressive showings with UL, Dan Morrissey (Ahane) and Thomas O’Brien (Patrickswell) have joined up with Limerick.
Indeed O’Brien started wing forward against The Deise, while Morrissey was used as a sub.
Just 24-hours earlier both had played with UL in the Fitzgibbon Cup win over UCD.
The duo will bolster the Limerick options for the opening league game when injury will rule out Declan Hannon, Seamus Hickey and Paudie Ahern, while the five Na Piarsaigh players will also be absent.
On top of the departure of Niall Moran and Shane O’Neill, the panel will be short 10 of last season’s players.
The poor weather conditions ensured it was far from ideal for hurling in the Mallow challenge game.
On his first outing of the year, Conor Allis was on free-taking duty.
The Limerick team was: Nickie Quaid; Stephen Walsh, Richie McCarthy, Mark Carmody; Paudie O’Brien, Wayne McNamara, Gavin O’Mahony; Paul Browne, Donal O’Grady; Conor Allis, James Ryan, Thomas O’Brien; Tommy Quaid, Sean Tobin, Graeme Mulcahy. Subs used: Tom Condon, Aaron Murphy, William Hickey, Dan Morrissey, Darragh Kennedy.
While Limerick will be down players for next week’s league opener, Jimmy Barry Murphy’s Cork will also be without some players due to injury.
Paudie O’Sullivan, Conor O’Sullivan, Pa Cronin and Seamus Harnedy are all receiving treatment at present and appear to be ruled out.
However they will have dual players Eoin Cadogan and Aidan Walsh in their panel.
The duo wont be involved with the Cork footballers this Sunday to allow them focus on hurling commitments for the crucial game on Saturday night week.
Cork managers Jimmy Barry-Murphy and Brian Cuthbert had reached a prior agreement which ensured the pair would be free this weekend to link up with the hurling squad for training.
With no league final in 2014, only the team that finishes top of Division 1B will gain promotion to the top flight and therefore the importance of the first round game.