SENIOR STAR CILLIAN Buckley returns to the Kilkenny U21 side for tomorrow evening’s Bord Gáis Energy Leinster U21 hurling championship final against Laois in O’Moore Park at Portlaoise, having missed their semi-final victory over Wexford due to a hamstring injury.
Buckey’s presence is a major filip to Kilkenny and provides the Dicksboro youngster with the perfect opportunity to bounce back from the disappointment of Sunday’s provincial senior final loss to Galway. U21 centre-back Richie Doyle was the other player who featured for the Cats last Sunday while full-back Willie Phelan was a substitute on Brian Cody’s senior squad.
Buckley’s inclusion sees an attacking reshuffle as John Power, younger brother of senior Richie, moves into full-forward with Walter Walsh switching to the corner, captain Kevin Kelly coming out to the wing and Cathal Kenny dropping to the bench. There is one positional change in defence with Brian Kennedy going to corner-back and Joe Lyng set to start at wing-back.
KILKENNY U21: Dylan Walsh (Thomastown); Jason Corcoran (John Lockes), Willie Phelan (Dunnamaggin), Brian Kennedy (St Lachtain’s); Luke Harney (Kilamcow), Richie Doyle (Barrow Rangers), Joe Lyng (Rower/Inistioge); Geoff Brennan (St Patrick’s), Ollie Walsh (Dicksboro); Kevin Kelly (St Patrick’s), Padraig Walsh (Tullaroan), Cillian Buckley (Dicksboro); Walter Walsh (Tullogher/Rosbercon), John Power (Carrickshock), Ger Aylward (Glenmore). Subs: Richie Reid (Ballyhale Shamrocks), Owen McGrath (John Lockes), Cathal Kenny (Barrow Rangers), Ian Duggan (Mullinavat), Pat O’Carroll (Lisdowney), Martin Gaffney (Dicksboro), Paul Buggy (Tullaroan), James Cassin (Rower/Inistioge), Michael Brennan (St Patrick’s), James Gannon (St Patrick’s).
“When Galway trounce Kilkenny and win a Leinster title, you sit back and appreciate just what they have done.”