Pat Gilroy saw recent League Absentees make club appearances last week.

Pat Gilroy Championship 2018

There’s just under five weeks to go before Pat Gilroy leads his new Dublin side out in Parnell Park for their first Championship clash in a daunting encounter with 71 time provincial champions Kilkenny.

And with Dublin’s Division 1B League campaign thwarted with injuries to some marquee players, the outlook was beginning to feel quite bleak as preparations began.

But last week, with the Dublin Senior Hurling Championship getting underway, the Dublin Manager, and indeed Dublin Hurling fans will have been encouraged to see a number of players take to the field for their respective clubs.

Lucan Sarsfields duo Johnny McCaffrey and Peter Kelly both lined out for their club’s opening day victory over Crumlin in O’Toole Park.

McCaffrey was absent for Dublin’s last three league games. Kelly as we know rejoined the senior set up, but was given extended time away due to a long lingering knee injury.

Chris Crummey, who left the field injured during Dublin’s Semi Final defeat to Tipperary, also featured for Lucan for the full game, meaning his suspected ankle injury appears to be on the mend.

In the B Championship, St. Pats of Palmerston lost their opener against Round Towers, but the team did feature former Dublin captain Liam Rushe.

Rushe only featured as a substitution in Dublin’s games against Antrim, Limerick and Galway. He replaced Ryan O’Dwyer in that last game but after 26 minutes was replaced himself with a concern around his ribs.

With Gilroy also expected to hand some of the Cuala Championship side a few places it seems things are finally falling into place for the Dubs ahead of a tough Championship campaign. And currently, Pat’s only major injury concern would be Naomh Fionnbarra’s Eamon Dillon.

Dillon has not featured for Dublin since their second round victory over Antrim on February 4th. And Finbarrs got their championship campaign underway against Kilmacud Crokes last Thursday without their star forward so the Leinster opener might be too soon for Dillon.

In terms of the opposition, Kilkenny don’t have too many injury worries but may have to plan without Paul Murphy or Colin Fennelly, despite expectations that they would return from their tour of duty with the Irish Defence Forces in the Lebanon.