Thursday 14 December 2017

Durkin out of Tipperary opener as Dublin turn their attention towards the League

Shane Durkin. Photo: Sportsfile
Shane Durkin. Photo: Sportsfile
Ger Cunningham

Shane Durkin will miss Dublin's opening Hurling League match with Tipperary on February 13 and will, instead, tog out for Ballyboden St Enda's in their All-Ireland club semi-final on the same day in Portlaoise.

Durkin played for Dublin against Galway in their Walsh Cup semi-final win in Parnell Park two Sundays back but was not part of their squad on Saturday night, when Ger Cunningham's team beat Wexford in the final.

The Dublin boss explained that he reached an "agreement" with Durkin and Ballyboden over his availability and with the club playing a challenge match on Saturday evening, Durkin was otherwise engaged.

"Shane is with Ballyboden. That was part of the agreement with Ballyboden and with Shane, that he would play with them tonight," Cunningham explained.


"He played with us in some of the matches but they have a match tonight getting ready for two weeks' time. And part of the agreement was that he would be with them tonight."

Durkin played only a minor role for Ballyboden last year in their Dublin and Leinster campaigns, though he did come on in the provincial final win over Portlaoise in Tullamore.

He would, ordinarily, have been expected to start for Dublin in their first League match of 2016 and his club involvement raises doubts over Durkin's availability for the rest of the League, should Ballyboden progress to the All-Ireland final on St Patrick's Day.

Conal Keaney has yet to declare his future intentions with Dublin but will certainly not play any part until Ballyboden's campaign ends.

Dosty O'Callaghan, who made an impact off the bench in 'Boden's last two games of the Dublin SFC, opted out of their Leinster campaign, electing instead to spend a stint abroad and he is expected now to commit to Dublin this spring.

Otherwise, the players who are unavailable to Cunningham (left) are those he described as "the long-term injuries," namely Paul Schutte, Ryan O'Dwyer, Peter Kelly and Niall Corcoran.

Liam Rushe, meanwhile, is suspended. The Dublin captain was slapped with a two-match ban for his straight red card in Thurles when Dublin were beaten by Waterford in last year's All-Ireland quarter-final, thought the suspension was later cut to a single game on appeal.

Fiontann MacGib, one of the newer faces to make a positive impression during the Walsh Cup, sat out the final after picking up a knock in training last week, though he will not miss any action.


"We'll have a stronger hand to pick from with the guys coming back from the colleges and one or two who were injured," Cunningham explained.


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