The Laois senior hurling management have named an unchanged side from the one which defeated Carlow two weeks ago for this Saturday’s Leinster quarter-final clash with Dublin.
The squad have picked up no new injuries since that game. There were some concerns when full-back Darren Maher was withdrawn from a practice game against Antrim on Saturday morning complaining of a tight hamstring. It turns out that was merely a precautionary measure, and he trained on Monday night.
Eoin Reilly also sat out the game with a slight hamstring complaint, but again he is named to start between the posts.
Unfortunately Laois are still without John Brophy, whose recovery from a broken hand is not yet complete, while Brian Campions is only making his first steps back to fitness at club level with Rathdowney-Errill.
Reflecting on the win over Carlow, selector Christy Dunphy admits the players have been delighted to get that much needed victory. “I was speaking to one of the senior players after the game and he said it’s not like getting a monkey off our backs, it’s like getting a gorilla off. Training has been going really well, we had Bro Phil (Ryan) in for a session there last week and the lads have been training hard.”
Over in the Dublin camp, their manager Anthony Daly has a lengthy injury list to contend with as he tries to prepare his side for the game.
Ross O’Carroll is definitely out with a thigh injury, while Alan McCrabbe is a doubt with a shoulder complaint. Paul Schutte has a knee injury which will see him out of action for a couple of months, while Martin Quilty has ruptured a cruciate ligament and is out for the season.
Ryan O’Dwyer is also suspended having been sent off in the relegation playoff against Galway, while Daly does at least hope to welcome back Conal Keaney, Stephen Hiney and Tomas Brady, all of whom have been out with cruciate injuries.
Laois team in full:
1 Eoin Reilly
2 Canice Coonan
3 Darren Maher
4 Gearoid Burke
5 Conor Dunne
6 Matthew Whelan
7 Mick McEvoy
8 James Walsh
9 Shane Hanlon
10 Stephen Maher
11 Brian Dunne
12 Willie Hyland
13 Tommy Fitzgerald
14 Neil Foyle
15 David O’Mahoney