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Rejuvenated Rebels have hunger to redeem


Páirc Uí Chaoimh, Tomorrow, 2.30

A new beginning for both counties tomorrow in Páirc Uí Chaoimh, but for very different reasons.

This time last year most of the Corkmen set to feature tomorrow were on the picket lines and locked in an apparently unsolvable dispute with their county board.

Almost as depressing was the position on which Offaly found themselves for the past two springs: consigned to the hurling wastelands of Division 2.

A clear run at a season in the topflight should do both counties the world of good, particularly Cork, who are being whispered as possible Munster contenders at the moment.

Most of the big guns are back in their holsters, while Denis Walsh has added a sprinkling of new talent with some serious potential.

Michael Cussen's decision to switch to hurling for the year gives him the opportunity to test out the 'twin towers' tactic in hurling, while newcomer Cian McCarthy is a half- forward with plenty of scores to offer.

The Newtownshandrum brigade have been given the weekend off but, even allowing for their absence, the hunger of the likes of Donal Óg Cusack, Ronan Curran, John Gardiner and Seán Óg Ó hAilpín to give the league a proper rattle should see the Rebels to two points.

ODDS: Cork 2/9, Draw 12/1, Offaly 7/2