National League Semi Final - Oisin O'Rorke
Oisin O’Rorke is one of a few injury doubts ahead of this weekend’s league semi final

Some selection concerns for the Dublin boss ahead of Sunday’s League Semi Final clash with Limerick

 

A Massive game awaits Dublin’s Senior Hurlers this Sunday. They travel to Nowlan Park to take on reigning All Ireland Champions Limerick in this year National League Semi Final. But it’s a challenge manager Mattie Kenny is looking forward to. Having only taken over the senior panel this year, Kenny has steered his side to four wins from five in the rounds. And last weekend, against the odds, Dublin were victorious over Tipperary in the Quarter Finals. The side that beat them comfortably at the same stage a year ago.

The Dubs will need to bring their A game this Sunday. As the challenge of the All Ireland Champions will certainly be their toughest to date. But they’ve put in some fine performances in the last few months. Galway came to visit in this year’s Walsh Cup. A Joe Canning sideline cut was the only things that seperated the sides. And the Donnycarney venue was also the scene for their well earned win over Waterford in the league campaign. The result could’ve been very different with the Deise awarded a penalty in the dying seconds of the game. But Alan Nolan pulled off a dramatic save to see his side victorious by 0-02.

Saturday’s result against Tipperary was the first time Dublin beat the Premier County on their own turf since 1946. Which highlights Dublin, or more importantly Mattie Kenny’s intent in his first season in charge. But this weekend is another climb the ladder and Dublin will need to have their skills and smarts about them.

“They’re the reigning All-Ireland champions and they showed in the League so far that they’ve carried last year’s form into this year’s League,” Kenny explained to the Herald.

“We’re not worried about the result as such, just about getting that quality game again.”

Injury Concerns will make team selection difficult

While there’s a generally clean bill of health in the camp, Kenny is waiting on a few of players who are carrying some knock. Oisin O’Rorke limped off the field toward the end of Saturday’s Quarter Final and was replaced by David Treacy.

“He picked up a bit of a knock in the finish, but he put in a huge performance up front for us.”

Another key component this year, Liam Rushe, was named in Saturday’s starting 15, but was replaced at the last minute by Caolan Conway. And Cian Boland ended up wearing the Number 14 jersey, coming on as a substitute. Rushe had suffered a hand injury in Dublin’s last round game against Laois a few weeks ago and is still on the mend. Kenny hopes Liam will be ready by Sunday to compete against Limerick.

Good news elsewhere, Na Fianna’s Shane Barrett is expected to be match fit this weekend. The defender has started all five round games this season ended up with a mild concussion toward the end of the Laois game in Parnell Park. He was brought to Beaumont Hospital as a precaution, but was released that day. As a result he sat out Saturday’s game.

“This match just came a week too son for him, so he’s someone we’ll be checking in on and try and work on him for the next day.”

Options a plenty

Despite the concerns though, the Dublin manger has a bench with talent to call on if necessary. John Hetherton has performed well for the most part in his debut season, with the St. Vincent’s man registering 0-40 over preseason and the league campaign.

Paul Ryan, David Treacy and Donal Burke are also options for the Dublin manager, with Fergal Whitely and Caolan Conway other names to drop into the hat.