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Sky Blue seniors are good to go for Joe


Cian O'Callaghan

Cian O'Callaghan


Cian O'Callaghan

THE Dublin U21 hurlers will have their full cohort of senior stars on championship duty when they host Kilkenny in this evening's intriguing Leinster quarter-final showdown at Parnell Park (7.30).

Sunday's Croke Park stalemate between Dublin and Galway had prompted fears over the availability of Cian O'Callaghan (above) and Colm Cronin for tonight's Donnycarney duel, given the proximity of the Dublin/Galway replay in Tullamore this Saturday.

But Dublin U21 boss Joe Fortune allayed those worries yesterday.

"The lads a re good to go. We are going with our full complement of seniors," he told The Herald.

His senior counterpart, Ger Cunningham, will be anxious that O'Callaghan comes through unscathed, given the hamstring injury doubt surrounding fellow full-back Peter Kelly.

U21 captain O'Callaghan made his first SHC start against Galway and played virtually the full game, while Cronin was a late call-up and featured for the first 49 minutes.

Three other U21s were on the bench: Shane Barrett (who replaced O'Callaghan in injury-time) and unused duo Cian Boland and Oisin O'Rorke.

Fortune pointed out that Wexford young guns Conor McDonald, Liam Ryan and Jack Guiney faced the same dilemma last summer and yet a famous week delivered Leinster U21 medals (at Dublin's expense) and the dethronement of All-Ireland holders Clare.

"The alarm bells ring when people hear 'three games in seven days', but the reality is those lads are well conditioned. They are well able to play games in tight parameters of time," Fortune maintained.