Tuesday 20 February 2018

Battle-hardened Rebels look too strong

Limerick v Cork, Gaelic Grounds, 7.30, K O'Brien (Tipperary) (Extra-time if necessary)

Cork have an immediate advantage, having already come through a hard-fought game with Darragh O Se's Kerry in the opening round while Limerick were handed a bye and have yet to see action.

The Rebels have maintained the same starting 15, which means there is no place for Sean Kiely, who was sprung from the bench to kick the decisive score in that win over the Kingdom.

Manager John Cleary does make a number of positional changes as Damien Cahalane moves to centre-back with Tom Clancy switching to midfield. Brian Hurley is named at full-forward with Luke Connolly moving to the corner and he'll look to his players with senior experience like Cahalane, Clancy and John O'Rourke to lead the way.

Last year Limerick fell to Clare in this competition, but they are backboned by James O'Meara, Iain Corbett and Darragh Treacy, who have all seen league action for the senior side, while Danny Neville and Sean Sheahan are also part of Maurice Horan's squad.

Notably all five were excused from senior duty last weekend to give them the best possible preparation for this home tie.

Former Tipperary manager and Cork native Tom McGlinchey is in charge of the Treaty men, having managed the county minors for the past two years, but his side face an uphill task against the side who reached the All-Ireland minor final three years ago.

Odds: Limerick 10/1, Cork 1/25, Draw 16/1

Verdict: Cork

Irish Independent

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