Paul Shiels handed start for Antrim hurlers against Laois

Paul Shiels returns to the Antrim team

Antrim hurling boss Jerry Wallace gives a first league start of the season to Paul Shiels for Sunday's crucial Division 1B game against Laois.

Shiels, who scored two points as a sub against Offaly last weekend, will partner Karl Stewart at midfield at Casement Park (14:30 BST).

Conor Carson is drafted into a Saffrons side which is again without its Loughgiel contingent.

Laois are without injured John Brophy and Neil Foyle.

Brophy suffered a broken hand in last weekend's defeat by Clare while Foyle has an elbow injury.

Antrim impressively won their opening game against Wexford but have since suffered defeats at the hands of Clare and Offaly.

Laois have lost their three opening matches and need a win over the Saffrons to keep alive any hopes of avoiding relegation.

Antrim: S McToal; A Graffan, C Donnelly, K McGourty; N McAuley, N McManus, M Gettens; K Stewart, P Shiels; S McCrory, M Herron, D Hamill; PJ McConnell, C Carson, S McNaughton.

Allianz National Hurling League fixtures

Saturday 24 March - 1430 GMT

Division 1A

Dublin v Tipperary (1700, Croke Park)

Division 1B

Limerick v Offaly (1900, Gaelic Grounds)

Division 2A

Westmeath v Wicklow (Cusack Park)

Division 2B

London v Mayo (Ruislip)

Sunday 25 March - 1430 BST

Division 1A

Galway v Waterford (Pearse Stadium)

Cork v Kilkenny (Pairc Ui Chaoimh)

Division 1B

Clare v Wexford (Cusack Park)

Antrim v Laois (Casement Park)

Division 2A

Carlow v Derry (1245, Dr Cullen Park)

Kerry v Down (1245, Killarney)

Division 2B

Meath v Roscommon (Navan)

Kildare v Armagh (Newbridge)

Division 3A

Louth v Donegal (Dowdallshill)

Tyrone v Monaghan (Omagh)

Sligo v Fingal (Markievicz Park)

Division 3B

Fermanagh v Longford (Irvinestown)

Leitrim v Warwickshire (Ballinamore)

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