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Kilkenny star set for first competitive start in two and a half years

Former Hurler of the Year Richie Hogan ready for action as Cats show strong hand for League semi-final clash with old rivals Cork

Former Hurler of the Year Richie Hogan will make his first start for Kilkenny in two and a half years during their Division 1 HL semi-final against Cork in Nowlan Park tomorrow (throw-in at 4.0).

Hogan has been derailed with injuries in recent seasons and his role greatly reduced to that of an impact sub towards the end of Brian Cody’s reign but the 34-year-old is primed to start once again for new boss Derek Lyng.

The Danesfort attacker hasn’t featured from the off for the Cats since their 2020 All-Ireland semi-final defeat to Waterford in late November of that year with his last appearance in black and amber coming off the bench against Limerick in last year’s All-Ireland final.

That was his sole competitive appearance for Kilkenny last season while it was similar the previous year as his only action for the Cats was a late appearance during extra-time of their 2021 All-Ireland semi-final loss to Cork.

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Lyng has shuffled his deck once again from last week’s victory over Waterford with three-time All-star goalkeeper Eoin Murphy returning between the posts while 2022 Young Hurler of the Year Mikey Butler starts at corner-back.

All-Star full-back Huw Lawlor switches to centre-back while Alan Murphy is rewarded for his impressive cameo against the Déise with a starting berth in midfield and All-Ireland U-20 winner Timmy Clifford gets to stake his claim at wing-forward.

Meanwhile, Pat Ryan has kept star forward Patrick Horgan in reserve for the last four clash with Pádraig Power given another chance to impress at full-forward in a side which sees Eoin Downey and Ciarán Joyce manning the No 3 and 6 shirts once again.

CORK (v Kilkenny): P Collins; N O’Leary, E Downey, D Cahalane; T O’Connell, C Joyce, R Downey; B Roche, E Twomey; C Cahalane, C Lehane, S Barrett; S Kingston, P Power, J O’Connor.
Kilkenny: E Murphy; M Butler, T Walsh, P Walsh; D Corcoran, H Lawlor, D Blanchfield; C Fogarty, A Murphy; T Clifford, J Donnelly, P Deegan; B Drennan, M Keoghan, R Hogan.

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