Kildare to take on Laois in Walsh Cup opening clash

2018 campaign underway

Tommy Callaghan

Reporter:

Tommy Callaghan

Email:

tommy.callaghan@leinsterleader.ie

Kildare to take on Laois in Walsh Cup opening clash

Kildare's Jack Sheridan gets past William Young of IT Carlow in the Walsh Cup game at St Conleth's Park, Newbridge, last season

The big lad may be still recovering from his travels but Kildare hurlers will get their 2018 campaign up and running on Saturday (December 30) when they take on Laois in Hawkfield in the opening game in the 2018 Walsh Cup.

With no colleges participating in this season's early warm-up competitions in both football and hurling, The Lilies will operate in a group that also includes Kilkenny, who incidentally won this competition last season, defeating Galway in the final.

Kildare played three game in the 2017 Cup, losing all three to Offaly 2-22 to 2-20; Meath 1-19 to 1-18 and IT Carlow 4-17 to 2-14.

Their task this season looks every bit as difficult and with just the top team in each group making it through to the semi final Joe Quaid will no doubt be looking at the performances, and especially how new members, and returned members, of his new squad, over the actual result.

Martin Fitzgerald (Ardclough), Mark Grace (Coill Dubh), Eanna O’Neill (Coill Dubh) and Padraic Keegan (Confey) are included in Quaid's panel, all having been there previously.

Not involved at this stage are  Michael Purcell and Ross Bergin (Naas) and Paudie Ryan (Ardclough). Also absent are last year’s permit  players, David Reidy, who has returned to the Limerick senior squad, his brother, Michael as well as Kilkenny All Ireland senior medallist John Mulhall and Tipperary’s Dinny Stapleton.

Joe Quaid has named an initial panel of no less than 42 players as he looks forward to another season at the helm of Kildare hurling.

Ironically, senior county champions, Ardclough, have just one representative on the new panel while beaten finalists, Naas, have no less than 13 players who have made themselves available.

Coill Dubh have 6; Confey 5; Celbridge 4 as have Éire Óg CC; while Leixlip and Maynooth have 2 each with St Laurence's just like the county champons have 1. 

Paul Dermody, Eire Og/CC

Paddy McKenna, Clane;

Cian Forde, Maynooth;

John Doran, Leixlip;

Conor Gordon, Coill Dubh;

Dylan Brereton, Coill Dubh;

Mark Grace, Coill Dubh;

Mark Moloney, Celbridge;

Niall Ó Muineacháin, Celbridge;

Seán Gainey, Naas;

Shane Walsh, Naas;

Kevin Whelan, Naas;

Simon Lacey, Naas;

Cathal Dervan, Leixlip;

Martin Fitzgerald, Ardclough;

Chris Bonus, Clane;

Cathal Dowling,  Naas;

Paul Divilly, Confey;

Richie Ryan,  Naas;

Jack Sheridan,  Naas; 

Brian Byrne, Naas;

James Burke,  Naas;

Shane Ryan, Naas;

Tadhg Forde, Maynooth;

Mark Delaney,  Coill Dubh;

Aidan Ryan, Confey;

Mark Doyle, Clane;

Mick Crowley, St. Laurences;

Paul Sullivan, Naas;

Pauric Keegan, Confey;

Sean Leamy, Confey;

James Dolan, Éire Óg CC;

Aaron Deegan, Éire Óg CC;

Seán Lalor, Celbridge;

Francis O'Reilly, Celbridge;

Diarmuid Cahill,  Coill Dubh;

Frank Bass, Confey;

Barry Cormack, Éire Óg CC;

Cathal Egan, Clane; 

Eoin O’Hehir, Naas;

Richie Hogan, Naas;

Éanna O'Neill, Coill Dubh.