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U21 Rebel boss says Portlaoise favours Dubs

CORK have a number of injury doubts ahead of Saturday's Cadbury's All-Ireland U21FC semi-final showdown with Dublin in Portlaoise (2.0) while Rebel manager, John Cleary, has criticised the choice of venue for the match.

Several of Cleary's frontliners have accumulated niggles in recent weeks with Tom Clancy said to be the most serious concern after limping out of the Munster final victory over Kerry with a calf injury.

In addition, dual player Damien Cahalane - son of former Cork defender, Niall - is struggling with a knee injury, Rory Deane has a groin problem while both Jamie Wall and Donal Óg Hodnett have missed training due to minor knocks to the knee.

"We have a number of concerns and it's probably not going to be until tomorrow night that we're fully aware of the situation," says Cork boss Cleary.

"We got together on Monday night and there were eight or nine fellas not able to train as they'd matches over the weekend. They are playing a lot of games and it's not easy. We have five main injury problems and they'll continue to receive treatment."

Cleary also insisted O'Moore Park was an unfair choice of venue given its relative proximity to the competing counties.

"It's probably 160 miles from parts of West Cork, where clubs have players on the panel, to get to Portlaoise," he insisted.

"It's only about 60 miles down the road from Dublin. I don't think it's very fair Portlaoise was selected. But we've known since Monday and it's not something we're going to dwell on. It's a pitch like any other."

KYLE CONEY has been ruled out of Tyrone's plans for the rest of the year after the player was informed he would require surgery on the groin injury he sustained in a club game last Saturday.

The former minor prodigy has featured strongly in Mickey Harte's team selections this spring and was set to make a more sustained championship impact but his loss and that of cruciate victim, Ronan O'Neill deprives Harte of two of Tyrone's most talented youngsters.