Rebels back to future as 14 recalled for Clare clash
CORK'S Rebel hurlers are back with a bang and mean business.
Fourteen of this year's 'strikers' have been selected to start on Sunday against Clare -- the first time they've pulled on the Cork jersey since last year's All-Ireland hurling semi-finals.
Interim manager John Considine, who has been given charge for the next two NHL games, has wasted no time in restoring the county to full strength.
He has picked a team that includes 10 of Cork's starting team from last year's All-Ireland semi-final loss to Kilkenny plus two -- Neil Ronan and Kieran Murphy (Sarsfields) -- who came off the bench in that game. Virtually all of Cork's iconic figures bar Sean Og O hAilpin (injured), Diarmuid O'Sullivan (playing rugby with Highfield) and Joe Deane are back. Eoin Cadogan is picked at full-back.
And, after the winter of discontent and bitterness that saw Gerald McCarthy forced to field a team of newcomers as the 2008 squad refused to play for him, just one of those players -- Sarsfields corner-back Conor O'Sullivan -- makes the cut.
Three more -- Chris Murphy (Blackrock), Tadhg Og Murphy (Sarsfields) and Barry Johnson (Bride Rovers) -- are in the 24-man panel.
Tyrone's footballers, after pulling off a great escape to beat Westmeath, have made seven changes for tomorrow night's derby clash with Donegal.
They include Ciaran Gourley (recovered from a knee injury) making his first appearance of the season, Conor Gormley moving to full-back to deputise for the injured Justin McMahon, while Tommy McGuigan and Colm McCullagh return to the starting attack.
Injuries to Willie Ryan and Paddy and Thomas Stapleton have seen them replaced by Conor O'Brien, Brendan Maher and Tony Scroope in Tipperary's only changes to their starters for their trip to Kilkenny, while hamstrung Lar Corbett doesn't even make the bench.
Waterford hurlers have shown serious respect to Dublin by revamping their full-back line, changing their goalkeeper and starting Eoin Kelly.
Mayo will delay their selection until the morning of the game because a handful of their players -- Tom Parsons, Donal Vaughan, Ken McLoughlin, Mikey Sweeney and Aidan O'Shea -- all line out in the Connacht U-21 semi-finals tomorrow. With six U-21s on his senior squad, Sligo manager Kevin Walsh has the same problem ahead of their vital Division 3 clash with Carlow.
- Three legendary Cork GAA figures -- John Fenton and dual stars Jimmy Barry-Murphy and Denis Coughlan -- have agreed to form the committee to find the new senior hurling manager.
They have been appointed by Central Council and GAA director-general Paraic Duffy will chair the committee, but the trio will decide whose name is put forward. They have their first meeting this weekend and it is hoped that the new senior management team will be in place before their league game against Kilkenny on April 5.
Teams in factfile