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A whopping 9 changes for Kilkenny hurlers as Fennelly set for first start of the season

Michael Fennelly is back in a much-changed Kilkenny team for Sunday’s clash with the Faithful County.

Michael Fennelly is back in the Kilkenny starting line-up.
Michael Fennelly is back in the Kilkenny starting line-up.
Image: Cathal Noonan/INPHO

KILKENNY BOSS BRIAN Cody has made no fewer than nine changes in personnel for Sunday’s Allianz Hurling League quarter-final with Offaly.

Cody has performed radical surgery on the team that accounted for Dublin in their final Division 1A group fixture.

The headline news on Noreside is the return of 2015 All-Ireland final man of the match Michael Fennelly to the starting line-up, with the Ballyhale Shamrocks midfielder set to make his first start of the year.

Goalkeeper Eoin Murphy and Colin Fennelly both return after injury while Robert Lennon is handed the number 3 shirt, and will be flanked by Paul Murphy and captain Shane Prendergast in the full-back line.

There’s a start for Clara’s Conor O’Shea in the half-back line for the Cats and up front, Kevin Kelly and Liam Blanchfield have been handed the opportunity to impress.

Headline names drop out of the team including the last two hurlers of the year, TJ Reid and Richie Hogan.

Reid is named on the Kilkenny bench but Hogan is not in the matchday 26.

Goalkeeper Richie Reid, 2015 All-Ireland winning captain Joey Holden, Jackie Tyrrell, Brian Kennedy, Padraig Walsh, Diarmuid Cody and James Maher are the other omissions from the starting team as manager Cody runs the rule over some of his fringe players.

Meanwhile, Offaly’s main injury concern, Joe Bergin, has shrugged off a knee problem and is listed to start at full-forward.

Throw-in at Nowlan Park on Sunday is at 3.45pm.

Kilkenny

1. Eoin Murphy (Glenmore)

2. Paul Murphy (Danesfort)
3. Robert Lennon (Bennettsbridge)
4. Shane Prendergast (Clara)

5. Conor O’Shea (Clara)
6. Kieran Joyce (Rower-Inistioge)
7. Cillian Buckley (Dicksboro)

8. Michael Fennelly (Ballyhale Shamrocks)
9. Lester Ryan (Clara)

10. Walter Walsh (Tullogher-Rosbercon)
11. Colin Fennelly (Ballyhale Shamrocks)
12. Kevin Kelly (St Patricks)

13. Liam Blanchfield (Bennettsbridge)
14. Jonjo Farrell (Thomastown)
23. John Power (Carrickshock)

Subs

16. Richie Reid (Ballyhale Shamrocks)
17. Jackie Tyrrell (James Stephens)
18. Joey Holden (Ballyhale Shamrocks)
19. Padraig Walsh (Tullaroan)
20. Brian Kennedy (St Lachtains)
21. Diarmuid Cody (James Stephens)
15. Chris Bolger (Clara)
22. TJ Reid (Ballyhale Shamrocks)
24. James Maher (St Lachtains)
25. Conor Martin (Emeralds)
26. Michael Malone (Mullinavat)

Offaly

1. James Dempsey (Kinnitty)

2. Niall Wynne (St Rynaghs)
3. Dermot Shortt (St Rynaghs)
4. Chris McDonald (Brosna Gaels)

5. Pat Camon (St Rynaghs)
6. Conor Doughan (Shinrone)
7. Dermot Mooney (Seir Kieran)

8. Sean Ryan (Birr)
9. Kevin Connolly (Coolderry)

10. Padraig Guinan (Drumcullen)
11. Colin Egan (capt – Belmont)
12. Shane Kinsella (Kinnitty)

13. Shane Dooley (Tullamore)
14. Joe Bergin (Seir Kieran)
15. James Mulrooney (Seir Kieran)

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