Dublin will look to profit from Canning's absence


THEY WOULD never admit it but Dublin’s chances of winning Sunday’s crucial hurling league play-off against Galway have been significantly boosted by the continuing absence of Joe Canning.

Canning has missed all of Galway’s league campaign to date with a shoulder injury, and yesterday dismissed speculation he was poised to return for Sunday’s showdown in Tullamore – where only the winners can look forward to retaining top division status.

In the meantime manager Anthony Cunningham has made five changes from the team heavily beaten by Kilkenny in the last round – handing Feargal Flannery the number one shirt, with Kevin Hynes returning to corner back, David Burke to midfield, and both Conor Cooney and Davy Glennon named in the forward line.

Dublin manager Anthony Daly will name his team this morning, with forward Paul Ryan and defender Peter Kelly poised to return from injury.

In football, Cork have made three changes for their Division One semi-final again Down at Croke Park, with Alan Quirke returning in goal, while Seán Kiely and Eoin Cadogan make way for Noel O’Leary and Paudie Kissane at wing back. Down will announce their team this morning.

Kerry manager Jack O’Connor has made seven changes for his prompt rematch with Mayo, which gets Sunday’s proceedings getting under way at 2pm, by naming a full-strength team this time. Brendan Kealy, Marc Ó Sé, Aidan O’Mahony, Anthony Maher, Paul Galvin, Darran O’Sullivan and Declan O’Sullivan return to the starting 15. Séamus Scanlon is injured, while Daniel Bohan returns to the panel.

Wexford call up promising attacker Diarmuid O’Keeffe for their Division One B relegation play-off with Laois at Nowlan Park.

GALWAY (SH v Dublin): F Flannery; K Hynes, D Collins, G O’Halloran; N Donohue, F Moore, T Og Regan; D Burke, A Smyth; C Cooney, N Burke, B Daly; D Hayes; J Regan, D Glennon.

CORK (SF V Down): A Quirke; R Carey, M Shields, E Cotter; N O’Leary, G Canty, P Kissane; A O’Connor, P O’Neill; F Goold, P Kelly, P Kerrigan; C O’Neill, A Walsh, D O’Connor.

KERRY (SF v Mayo): B Kealy; S Enright, M Ó Sé, K Young; P Crowley, A O’Mahony, B Maguire; A Maher, B Sheehan; P Galvin, Darran O’Sullivan, K Donaghy; C Cooper, Declan O’Sullivan, P Curtin.

WEXFORD (SH v Laois): E Martin; W Devereux, P Roche, K Rossiter; R Kehoe, D Stamp, E Moore; D Redmond, M O’Hanlon; H Kehoe, D O’Keeffe, D Lyng; P Morris, J Guiney, R Jacob.