The countdown may be on to the All Ireland final between Waterford and Galway in a couple of weeks time but attention will switch back to the under 21 Grade this Saturday evening as the semi finals of that competition take place in Semple Stadium.
Two games are down for decision with firstly Kilkenny taking on Derry at 4.pm. The Cats who incidentally won their first Leinster title for six years after beating Wexford a few weeks ago take on an unknown in Derry. Like Kilkenny the northerners bridged a long gap of success with victory over Down and they also defeated perennial ulster victors Antrim on the way so Eddie Brennan’s men are sure to be on their guard.
Then at 6.pm local rivals Galway and Limerick lock horns. As is the case every year Galway will come into this game cold and its almost impossible to know where they are but the fact that they have a player like Conor Whelan in their ranks who is among the favourites to win senior hurler of the year will ensure they should be there or there abouts. Limerick on the other hand have been very impressive thus far in collecting their 11th Munster Title. The team will be made up of mostly the same group that reached the All Ireland Minor Final in 2014.
Team news: Kilkenny v Derry.
Kilkenny: Kilkenny U21 boss Eddie Brennan has made three changes to his side for Saturday’s All-Ireland semi-final against Derry at Semple Stadium.
Niall McMahon comes into the side at left corner-back, with Huw Lawlor starting at centre-field and Shane Walsh named at left corner-forward.
James Burke, Pat Lyng and Alan Murphy are the players to make way from the Cats’ comprehensive Leinster final victory over Wexford last month
Team news: Galway v Limerick
Galway: Senior star Conor Whelan will lead the Galway attack from corner-forward in Saturday’s All-Ireland U21HC semi-final meeting with Limerick at Semple Stadium, Thurles.
Whelan has been in outstanding form for Micheal Donoghue’s senior side this season, helping them to league success in April and a place in next month’s All-Ireland final.
Whelan is joined in the selection by fellow senior panellists Jack Grealish, Sean Loftus, who occupy the wing-back positions, and Thomas Monaghan, who starts at number twelve.
Tony Ward’s side features six starters from the 2015 All-Ireland minor final triumph over Tipperary.
Limerick: Limerick show just one change for Saturday’s All-Ireland U21HC semi-final against Galway as they look to reach their second final in three years.
From the side that lined out in last month’s 0-16 to 1-11 Munster final success over Cork at the Gaelic Grounds, Barry Murphy regains the number eleven jersey at the expense of Mike Mackey who makes way.
Seamus Flanagan, who is one of fourteen players from the 2015 All-Ireland U21 winning squad involved in the present set-up, is added to the substitutes.