Waterford hope for fixture change as players set for two Munster semi-finals in 48 hours

WATERFORD ARE HOPEFUL they may get a fixture change to help their dual underage players who are facing a hectic schedule next week.

Waterford are set to face Tipperary in a Munster U20 hurling semi-final next Tuesday 9 July at 7.30pm in Semple Stadium, their opening game at that level this season.

Last night the Waterford U20 footballers were victorious against Clare by 1-10 to 1-9 in Dungarvan and are scheduled to meet Cork in the Munster U20 football semi-final next Thursday 11 July at 7pm in Clonakilty.

Eight members of the team that triumphed in last night’s football quarter-final are also set to be involved with their hurling squad.

The half-back line of Mark Twomey, Tom Barron and Sam Fitzgerald, midfield duo of Dan Booth and Brian Lynch, wing-forwards Sean Whelan-Barrett and Billy Power, along with corner-forward Darragh O’Keeffe, are the dual players in question.

“At the moment we’re talking to the Munster Council and to the Cork officials to see if we could maybe get an extra day,” revealed Waterford U20 football manager Gavin Whelan.

“We’ve eight players lining out with the hurlers on Tuesday night up against Tipp and we’d wish them the best of luck, hoping all goes well for them.

“Asking the guys to line out two nights after playing a big Munster hurling championship game is really going to be a big ask for our dual players, who are proud to play the football as well.

“We’ll see what manoeuvres can be done. It’d still be a tough ask but if we got it back to the Friday, we’d probably take that at this stage. It’s a serious schedule but we realise that fixtures calendar is there.”

The U20 football final is set to take place in Munster on 18 July, Kerry take on Limerick in the other semi-final, with the equivalent hurling decider down for 23 July.

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Despite the hectic programme of games, Whelan was delighted to see his side triumph last night. In the old U21 football grade, Waterford had not won a match in Munster since 2006.

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“We’re just happy to be in the last four. It’s a huge boost for Waterford football. I think it’s a great achievement for us to get over the line against Clare and to be going down playing a team of the calibre of Cork in their own home patch is one we’re going to relish.

“It’s just a pity we mightn’t get full preparation into the lads over the next couple of days, it’s all about recovery really.”

Darragh Corcoran in action for Waterford against Westmeath recently in Mullingar.

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Darragh Corcoran was one of four Waterford senior panellists in the U21 side along with Whelan-Barrett, Lynch and Stephen Curry.

Last night marked his first underage match for Waterford after being focused on soccer in recent seasons and the St Saviour’s forward made his mark as he scored 1-7 with 1-3 from play.

“Soccer for Waterford FC over the past few years was probably his first choice. Came in last night, kicked 1-7, scores out of the top drawer. The one that put us in front was just superb, on the run from 45 yards out.

“Comes from a proud family tradition, his father Tony would have been involved with Waterford senior squads over the last few years. It’s great to have him flying the flag, he was a big influence.”

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