Saturday 16 December 2017

Rushe hands Daly major boost for Tribes duel

LIAM RUSHE has granted Anthony Daly his second injury wish of the week and is in contention to start Dublin's Allianz Hurling League Division 1A opener against Galway on Sunday in Salthill (2.30).

The 2011 Young Hurler of the Year played a full part in UCD's Fitzgibbon Cup loss to UCC at the Mardyke yesterday despite doubts over the well-being of the hand he broke in last year's Dublin SHC 'B' final.

Lining out at full-forward, Rushe scored 1-1 from play and lasted the hour as the Belfield College went down by 2-13 to 1-23 at the quarter-final stage, granting the Fitzgibbon Cup hosts qualification for finals weekend.

But the news that Rushe - who wore a protective glove on his right hand - came through unscathed will be music to Dublin manager Daly's ears before he finalises his team to face the Tribesmen (team named tomorrow night).

The St Pat's, Palmerstown man played in UCD's previous outing - his first competitive match since late last year - but suffered a reaction in the hand and had a cast put back on as a precaution.

Speaking earlier in the week, Daly confirmed that Rushe's participation on Sunday hinged on whether he featured in yesterday's match, adding: "depending on how it is then, we'll see (whether he will start in Salthill).

Already this week, Peter Kelly put himself in the frame after playing a full part in a training match on Tuesday night meaning Daly's injury-enforced absentees are Paul Schutte (hamstring) and Ross O'Carroll (broken finger) along with long-term cruciate victims, Tomás Brady, Stephen Hiney and Conal Keaney.

Three of Rushe's fellow Dublin panelists also played yesterday, namely Daire Plunkett, Oisín Gough and Kevin O'Loughlin as the capital's Fitzgibbon Cup interested ended with a seven-point defeat, due mostly to the scoring prowess of UCC and Tipperary forward, Shane Bourke, who scored 1-6 from play.

In the day's other quarter-final, two goals from substitute, Mikey Heffernan helped UL to a 3-18 to 0-14 win over IT Carlow.

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