Friday 30 September 2016

Cork and Dublin shuffle their pack for floodlit Croke Park showdown

Published 05/03/2016 | 02:30

Dublin's Michael Savage. Photo: Stephen McCarthy / Sportsfile
Dublin's Michael Savage. Photo: Stephen McCarthy / Sportsfile

Cork footballers have responded to last weekend's Roscommon debacle by making four changes for tonight's Allianz Football League trek to Croke Park where they face a daunting showdown with Dublin.

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Peadar Healy and his selectors have drafted in Micheál Aodh Martin between the posts and Jamie O'Sullivan at centre-back, while Kevin O'Driscoll starts at midfield and Seán Kelly is named at wing-forward. Ken O'Halloran, Michael Shields, Andrew O'Sullivan and Mark Collins all drop to the bench, having featured from the start of Cork's humiliating 18-point defeat at home to the Rossies.

Dublin, by contrast, boast a 100pc record ahead of tonight's game - but that hasn't stopped Jim Gavin from making an eye-catching six alterations.

Michael Savage gets a relatively rare goalkeeping run-out in place of skipper Stephen Cluxton, Jonny Cooper takes over at full-back from Michael Fitzsimons, while Eric Lowndes get his half-back chance at the expense of John Small. Three current All Stars also come back into the starting fold - Brian Fenton at midfield, Ciarán Kilkenny and Bernard Brogan up front.

Kerry make three changes for their tie with Donegal, as Brian Kelly resumes in goal as part of an ongoing 'keeper rotation, Peter Crowley starts at wing-back and Denis Daly comes in for his NFL debut at wing-forward, replacing St Mary's clubmate Aidan Walsh. A still-pointless Mayo have confined themselves to two changes as Stephen Rochford seeks his maiden league victory in Monaghan. Chris Barrett, who returned from injury as a sub against Donegal, now replaces Michael Hall at corner-back while Jason Doherty is recalled for the injured Keith Higgins in attack.

On the hurling front, Séamus Callanan returns to make his seasonal bow for Tipperary at home to Waterford in three changes to the team beaten in Kilkenny.

Irish Independent

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