Monday 18 December 2017

Lilies seek solace in return of quartet

KILDARE fans will be hoping the return of some familiar names can kickstart an Allianz League campaign already veering into crisis territory after three defeats on the spin.

Alan Smith (pictured) (hip surgery) and Emmet Bolton (back) both made their first appearances of 2015 with fourth quarter cameos off the bench during Sunday's Division Two reversal to Westmeath while Paul Cribbin - out with a heel problem since before last year's championship - lasted the full 70 minutes.

Daniel Flynn also made his return as a 70th minute sub, having recently rejoined the panel after departing Aussie Rules club Port Adelaide.

Jason Ryan will require all bodies on board as he contemplates Saturday night's must-win trip to Cavan (7pm, live on Setanta 1).

Having started their NFL campaign as favourites for an instant top-flight return, the Lilies are now facing the grim spectre of demotion to Division Three, with three of their remaining four fixtures on the road.

BARRY KELLY will make early reacquaintance with his sideline nemesis, Brian Cody, after the Westmeath whistler was appointed to referee Sunday's NHL Division 1A meeting between Galway and Kilkenny.

This will be Kelly's first game in charge of the Cats since last year's drawn All-Ireland final, when his contentious decision to award a late free to win it for Tipperary prompted a stinging rebuke from Cody in a media interview three weeks later, the day after his team won the replay.

TIPPERARY chairman Michael Bourke has led the tributes to the "goalkeeping genius" of Tony Reddin, who has died after a short illness, aged 95.

A Galway native who achieved fame with Tipp, Reddin was named as hurling goalkeeper of the century in 1984 and on the team of the millennium in 2000.

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