Cadogan primed for Donaghy duel
HEROIC Cork hurling full-back Eoin Cadogan could take on a second huge job for the Rebels in the space of a week by marking Kerry's Kieran Donaghy in Sunday's Munster SFC semi-final.
The brilliant young Douglas dual star will definitely be available to the county footballers for this weekend's massive clash in Killarney, just seven days after helping the Rebel hurlers dethrone Munster champions Tipperary.
Cadogan lined out for both county teams during this year's National Leagues before a shin injury disrupted his season in mid-April, forcing him to miss the end of both campaigns, including the Division 1 NFL and NHL finals.
But when he made his quicker-than-expected comeback for the hurlers on Sunday, he was a pivotal figure in nullifying Tipperary's full-forward line, showing the sort of inspirational form that proves he is fighting fit.
Despite getting a minor facial injury, he finished bloodied but unbowed at Pairc Ui Chaoimh and Cork PRO Gerard Lane confirmed yesterday the combative dual star had made himself available to the footballers, for whom he normally plies his trade at wing-back, for this weekend's clash.
While many argue that the day of the senior inter-county dual player is over because of the massive amount of training and commitment demanded at county level, Cork's two senior managers Denis Walsh (hurling) and Conor Counihan (football) have worked closely together this season to manage Cadogan's training and competition schedules to allow him maximise his dual talents for the county.
Bishopstown's Jamie O'Sullivan, who was named at wing-back for the NFL final against Mayo, started that game at full-back, where he kept Aidan O'Shea scoreless, and it remains to be seen whether Counihan will stick with him or introduce Cadogan at full-back.
His return to full fitness presents one of many selection dilemmas for Counihan, who could be without Aidan Walsh on Sunday.
Kanturk clubman Walsh was one of the stars of Cork's NFL final victory at midfield, but he picked up a finger injury in a challenge game against Laois last Friday that is expected to rule him of the Munster U-21 hurling quarter-final against Waterford tomorrow night and has also made him doubtful for the weekend.
Since the footballers' league final victory, several other major injury absentees, such as captain Graham Canty, John Miskella and Pearse O'Neill, have all recovered to come back into the frame for Cork.
Whether Counihan sticks with the players who comprehensively beat Mayo in the Division 1 final or makes changes will be closely monitored when he reveals his team on Thursday night.
Former U-21 star Colm O'Neill, who came off the bench in the league final, is reportedly one of those in flying form since then. Nicholas Murphy and Anthony Lynch will both definitely miss out through injury and team captain Canty's match fitness remains in doubt.
Canty missed the league final after damaging his shoulder AC joint against Mayo in the final round, but he has recently returned to full club action for Bantry Blues.
However, he has admitted himself that he may be short of the necessary match sharpness for a game of such magnitude as Sunday's clash with arch-rivals Kerry.
"I'm fit, but my match fitness is way down and time is something I don't have," Canty said last week.
The 2009 Footballer of the Year Paul Galvin is Kerry's main injury doubt, after sitting out training last weekend with an ankle injury. However, it is believed that Donaghy, who picked up a groin strain, will be ready to start.