Preview of the M Donnelly Interprovincial Hurling semi-finals between Leinster and Munster
Interprovincial Hurling returns this weekend after a three year absence as Leinster and Munster clash in the semi final of the Martin Donnelly sponsored tournament on Sunday (throw in Nowlan Park 2pm).
Leinster are the reigning champions following their win over Connacht three years ago and will be looking for their 27th title.
As expected Joe Dooley’s squad features a number of Dublin and Kilkenny hurlers, with no fewer than 19 players from the two counties in the squad.
All Ireland winners Kilkenny contribute 13 players to the squad and with the likes of Richie Power, Eoin Larkin, Jackie Tyrell, Noel Hickey and Michael Fennelly they will no doubt provide the bulk of the starting line up.
Dublin stars Liam Rushe and Ryan O’Dwyer will also feature with Offaly star Joe Bergin also likely to be called upon.
Rushe has only recently returned to action following a broken hand however given the history of the competition the 21 year old had no hesitation in answering the call up “I wanted to play in it. I’ve always wanted to play in it. When I got the phone call there was no doubt in my mind. I said ‘Yes, of course I will”.
Munster meanwhile have a more diverse spread with each county represented in their squad, including 9 from All Ireland runners up Tipperary.
The side managed by Liam Sheedy also include two members of Kerry’s Christy Ring winning side with Tom Murnane and Shane Nolan included.
Munster have claimed the title on 44 occasions, their last win coming in 2007. The last time they met with Leinster, was in the 2008 final when they went down 1-15 to 1-12 in the final.
The winner will play either Connacht or Ulster on the 4th March.
Leinster panel: Gary Maguire, Dublin, Niall Cororan, Dublin, Shane Durkin, Dublin, Ryan O’ Dwyer, Dublin, Paul Ryan, Dublin, Liam Rushe, Dublin, David Herity, Kilkenny, Paul Murphy, Kilkenny, Noel Hickey, Kilkenny, Jackie Tyrell (Captain) Kilkenny, Tommy Walsh, Kilkenny, Brian Hogan, Kilkenny, JJ Delaney, Kilkenny, Michael Fennelly, Kilkenny, Michael Rice, Kilkenny, Richie Power, Kilkenny, Eoin Larkin, Kilkenny, Colin Fennelly, Kilkenny, Richie Hogan, Kilkenny, Willie Hyland, Laois, Rory Hanniffy, Offaly, Shane Dooley, Offaly, Joe Bergin, Offaly, Brendan Murtagh, Westmeath, Darren Stamp, Wexford, Rory Jacob, Wexford.
Munster panel: John Conlon (Clare), Cian Dillon (Clare), Pat Donnellan (Clare); Patrick Cronin (Cork), Donal Og Cusack (Cork), John Gardiner (Cork), Patrick Horgan (Cork); Tom Murnane (Kerry), Shane Nolan (Kerry); Tom Condon (Limerick), Declan Hannon (Limerick), Donal O’Grady (Limerick), Nicky Quaid (Limerick); Michael Cahill (Tipperary), Paul Curran (Tipperary), Eoin Kelly (Tipperary), Brendan Maher (Tipperary), Padraic Maher (Tipperary), Patrick Maher (Tipperary), Shane McGrath (Tipperary), Conor O’Mahony (Tipperary), Gearoid Ryan (Tipperary); Liam Lawlor (Waterford), Kevin Moran (Waterford), Shane O’Sullivan (Waterford), Michael Walsh (Waterford)