Sunday 21 July 2019

Clancy returns for Cork as McCarthy relishes crack at Dublin

Ronan McCarthy has named his team to face Dublin in Saturday's Super 8s clash. Photo: Matt Browne/Sportsfile
Ronan McCarthy has named his team to face Dublin in Saturday's Super 8s clash. Photo: Matt Browne/Sportsfile

Denis Hurley

Ronan McCarthy has drafted Tomás Clancy into his defence for Cork's Super 8s clash against Dublin in Croke Park on Saturday.

The Fermoy centre-back's inclusion, in place of Kevin O'Donovan, is the sole alteration to the side that comfortably saw off Laois in their Round 4 qualifier last weekend.

O'Donovan, who picked up a foot injury against Laois, is named on the bench where he is joined by his Nemo Rangers team-mate Paul Kerrigan - who remains in reserve despite scoring 1-1 after his introduction in Thurles last Saturday.

Speaking ahead of the showdown with the five-in-a-row-chasing Dubs, McCarthy insists he has no fears regarding his side's Croke Park inexperience.

The Rebels haven't played at headquarters in the championship since their 2016 loss to Mayo, but they will now do so twice in eight days and McCarthy feels they will relish it.

"As a group of players, they've wanted to get there, this is what they've wanted to work towards," said McCarthy. "I think I heard Brian Hurley say after the Laois game that you can say there might be nervousness among those who haven't played there, but excitement is probably a better thing really. There is an excitement that comes with it.

Baggage

"Sometimes young players don't have any kind of baggage or hang-ups, to them it is just another game. It is like when Joe Brolly was interviewed after the 1993 All-Ireland semi-final, he was asked how does it feel to be in an All-Ireland.

"His reply was: 'Now that we are there, it is the most natural thing in the world'. For some of these fellas, it could be just like that."

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While Eoghan McSweeney remains out injured, McCarthy has given midfielder Killian O'Hanlon every chance to prove his fitness.

O'Hanlon was forced off with a head injury in the first half of that Laois game week's win over Laois in Thurles and McCarthy will give him every chance to recover, highlighted by his decision to name him in his starting team.

"We'll make a call on him later in the week," added McCarthy. "He's been assessed daily by the medical team since the Laois game.

"There are procedures and protocols to follow when returning from an injury like that. We'll follow it to the letter of the law but that will mean we won't be able to make a call on him until later in the week.

"At this point, he'll be included in the panel, but I would say that it will be right up to throw-in before we know whether he plays or not."

CORK (SF v Dublin) - M White; J Loughrey, Thomas Clancy, K Flahive; L O'Donovan, Tomás Clancy, M Taylor; I Maguire (c), Killian O'Hanlon; K O'Driscoll, S White, R Deane; M Collins, B Hurley, L Connolly. Subs: M Martin, A Browne, K O'Donovan, P Murphy, S Cronin, C Kiely, R O'Toole, J O'Rourke, P Kerrigan, M Hurley, S Sherlock.

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