Friday 24 November 2017

Cork pick new-look defence following suspensions

Martin Breheny

Martin Breheny

ANTHONY NASH, Shane O'Neill and Kevin Hartnett have been drafted into the Cork hurling team for Sunday's Munster hurling semi-final against Waterford, replacing the trio whose one month suspensions arising from the pre-match bust-up against Clare were announced yesterday.

Nash (Kanturk) replaces Donal Óg Cusack in goal, O'Neill (Bishopstown) comes at left full-back, with Cian O'Connor moving to full-back to replace Diarmuid O'Sullivan, while Kevin Hartnett (Russel Rovers), who came as a sub against Clare, takes over from Seán Óg Ó hAilpín at left half-back.

The three replacements are all talented operators, but it remains to be seen how they cope under the intense pressure they will face on Sunday, while O'Connor's switch to full-back will also come under scrutiny. Apart from the three enforced changes, the team is the same as that which started against Clare.

It's the first time in years that Cork will be lining out without Cusack, O'Sullivan and Ó hAilpín, all of whom have been central figures in the successful run which brought two All-Ireland and three Munster titles since 2003.

There was speculation that Cork would defer team selection as they considered their appeal options, but they proceeded as usual with the announcement.

Dublin, meanwhile, announced an unchanged team for the Leinster football quarter-final clash with Meath, killing speculation that Mark Vaughan would be given a starting berth in attack.

Meath, who spent last weekend in Donegal, are expected to wait until later in the week before finalising their team.

Anthony McDermott is the only championship newcomer on the Roscommon team to play Sligo in the Connacht semi-final at Dr Hyde Park. The Kilbride man slots in at full-back on a team that welcomes back Gary Cox and Derek Connellan, both of whom missed last year's campaign, to attack.

CORK (SH v Waterford) - A Nash; B Murphy, C O'Connor, S O'Neill; J Gardiner, R Curran, K Hartnett; J O'Connor, T Kenny; Kieran Murphy (Erin's Own), N McCarthy, P Cronin; B O'Connor, Kieran Murphy (Sarsfields), J Deane.

DUBLIN (SF v Meath) - S Cluxton; D Henry, R McConnell, P Griffin; P Casey, B Cullen, B Cahill; C Whelan, D Magee; C Moran, S Ryan, D Connolly; C Keaney, A Brogan, T Quinn.

ROSCOMMON (SF v Sligo) - G Claffey; S McDermott, A McDermott, P O'Connor; S Daly, D Casey, R Dooner; S O'Neill, M Finneran; J Tiernan, G Cox, C Cregg; D Connellan, K Mannion, G Heneghan.

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