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Dublin: 13 °C Sunday 22 September, 2019
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Senior sensation absent from Galway team for All-Ireland hurling final

Conor Whelan is a notable absentee from the Galway intermediate side after stepping up to the senior ranks.

Conor Whelan is now a Galway senior star.
Conor Whelan is now a Galway senior star.
Image: Cathal Noonan/INPHO

THE GALWAY TEAM for Saturday’s All-Ireland intermediate hurling final against Cork shows one change to the side that beat Wexford to claim an historic Leinster crown.

Capataggle’s Dan Nevin coming in to replace Conor Whelan, who scored 1-2 on his senior debut against Cork in the All-Ireland quarter-final.

Nevin is named at right half forward and in the attacking reshuffle, Eamon Brannigan moves to the corner with Shane Maloney named at full-forward.

Galway senior boss Anthony Cunningham says the All-Ireland intermediate championship is the perfect transition between U21 and senior hurling.

Johnny Kelly’s intermediate squad includes the vast majority of this year’s U21 panel and several players who have featured in the Galway senior set-up.

It also provided the grounding for the fledging talent of Whelan, who was parachuted in from left field for his explosive senior debut against Cork.

Anthony Cunningham Galway senior boss Anthony Cunningham has been keeping a close eye on the intermediate grade. Source: Cathal Noonan/INPHO

The Galway seniors entered the Leinster championship in 2009 but their minors and U21s still don’t play in a provincial series.

And Cunningham thinks that championship gives these players another chance to showcase their talents.

“I have been always pushing that we should use an intermediate team for development.

“About half of them are U-21s and the other half are guys that we would be interested in or think would make strong inter-county players in the next year or two or three years.

“For the U21s as well, the fact that we are not in Leinster it means three extra matches for those guys.

“We had Conor Whelan up until the last day, obviously he can’t play on Saturday but we have some other guys there that you may see against Tipp.

Conor Whelan celebrates scoring a goal Conor Whelan celebrates his goal against Cork. Source: Cathal Noonan/INPHO

“It is extra work but it also gives games to guys unfortunately who haven’t got games in our senior set-up.

“They are young players who coming 21, 22 or 23 in that age-group and it is a good tool to do that.”

Galway’s intermediates face Cork at the Gaelic Grounds on Saturday evening and throw-in is at 7pm.

Galway

1 James Skehill

2 Colm Flynn
3 Darragh O’ Donoghue
4 Adrian Tuohy

5 Paul Flaherty
6 Darragh Burke
7 Shane Cooney

8 Kevin McHugo
9 Dean Higgins

10 Dan Nevin
11 Tadhg Haran
12 Eanna Burke

13 Brian Molloy
14 Shane Maloney
15 Eamon Brannigan

Additional reporting from John Fallon.

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