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Declan Dalton receives treatment on Saturday. Picture: INPHO/Ken Sutton
Declan Dalton receives treatment on Saturday. Picture: INPHO/Ken Sutton

Concerns over Dalton's availability for the All-Ireland final

DECLAN Dalton will be given every opportunity to be fit for the All-Ireland U21 hurling final after sustaining what appeared to be a serious leg injury during the semi-final victory over Wexford last weekend.

The Fr O’Neill’s clubman was stretchered off in the latter stages of the second half and he must now be considered a doubtful starter for the final against Tipperary or Galway, which takes place on Saturday, August 25. The decider is likely to be in Semple Stadium or Páirc Uí Chaoimh, with a coin toss to determine the venue if Tipp defeat the Tribe on Wednesday night.

His loss would be a big blow given that he is the team’s ace free-taker and contributes handsomely from play as well.

Cork were superb in dismantling the Leinster runners-up and team boss Denis Ring acknowledged that was surprised with the ease of the victory.

Declan Dalton shoots on goal. Picture: INPHO/Ken Sutton
Declan Dalton shoots on goal. Picture: INPHO/Ken Sutton

“To be honest, I did not expect it to go the way that it did. Wexford had been excellent against a highly rated Dublin team in Leinster and in the final against Galway.

“We certainly gave them huge respect as we do with all our opponents but we are delighted with the way it worked out.

Ring and his management team will now travel to the Gaelic Grounds on Wednesday night to have a good close look at their final opponents which will be either Tipperary or Galway.

“Yes, we’ll have a good look. U21 is funny you know and I would not rule out Tipperary on their performance against us in the Munster final.

“They had been excellent prior to that against a Limerick team containing a good few seniors and they did not become a bad team overnight.

“They will give Galway, I think, enough of it on Wednesday night but it will be interesting for us to be sit down and watch it unfold.

“Initially, we were not going to be able to do that but the fact the game was moved by a few days now provides us with the opportunity of being there." 

Cork’s brace of goals from Tim O’Mahony set the tone for Cork’s emphatic win, something the Cork boss acknowledged.

“That was coming for a while, Tim is a super player and we know that and anybody that has seen him come through from Newtown knows that he is a dangerous player.

“It was a very balanced team performance and you couldn’t pick out one player who didn’t perform." 

Cork were without star defender David Griffin because of injury but he should be fit and ready for the final and, of course, it will be fingers crossed for Dalton.