Battle lines drawn as Kilkenny and Galway make one change apiece
The return of a key man on either side has resulted in just the one change apiece for Kilkenny and Galway ahead of the big one at Croker tomorrow.
Looking on at Kilkenny hammering Tipp in the All-Ireland semi-final, Richie Hogan probably thought it would take a miracle for him to get his place back after suspension, but he has been drafted in at midfield alongside Michael Fennelly for the Cats.
Michael Rice’s absence after suffering a shattered hand against Tipp left an opening in the centre of the field that Cillian Buckley had been expected to fill having done well following his introduction against the Premier.
Instead, Brian Cody has selected Hogan in an unfamiliar role at midfield, with Buckley waiting in reserve and the rest of the starting XV carrying a familiar and fairly menacing look.
On the other side, Anthony Cunningham will be delighted to be able to call upon Cyril Donnellan, who had been one of the Players of the Year up to the semi-final, which he had to start from the bench because of an arm injury.
James Regan started in Donnellan’s stead against Cork in the semi-final and he retains his place in the side for tomorrow, moving into the full forward line in place of Conor Cooney, who is the unfortunate one to miss out on a starting berth.
The battle lines have been drawn, all Kilkenny and Galway can do, like the rest of us, is wait impatiently for the action to start.
Kilkenny: D Herity; P Murphy, JJ Delaney, J Tyrrell; T Walsh, B Hogan, K Joyce; M Fennelly, R Hogan; H Shefflin, TJ Reid, E Larkin; C Fennelly, R Power, A Fogarty.
Galway: J Skehill; D Collins, K Hynes, F Moore; N Donoghue, T Regan, J Coen; A Smith, I Tannian; D Burke, N Burke, C Donnellan; D Hayes, J Canning, J Regan.