Friday 15 December 2017

Double injury blow for Barry-Murphy

Cork hurler Pa Cronin
Cork hurler Pa Cronin
Martin Breheny

Martin Breheny

CORK'S prospects of reaching the Munster hurling final have taken a double hit as Pa Cronin and Lorcan McLoughlin look likely to miss the semi-final clash with Clare in the Gaelic Grounds on Sunday week.

It means that Cork will probably be without six players – all aged under 27 years – who, in normal circumstances, would be aboard the team for this year's championship.

Team captain Cronin was discharged from hospital on Tuesday after being treated for a viral chest infection while McLoughlin popped a shoulder in training on Tuesday night.

Apart from captaining the team, Cronin (above) is one of their top attackers, while McLoughlin's versatility enables him to slot in as a half-back or midfielder.

Both will be monitored closely over the coming week to see if they can play any part in the semi-final.

The latest blows add to Jimmy Barry-Murphy's problems, having lost prolific forward Paudie O'Sullivan with a broken leg in April.

Earlier, dual stars Eoin Cadogan and Damien Cahalane opted to concentrate on football only, while Darren Sweetnam is pursuing a professional rugby career. He is currently on duty with Ireland in the Junior World Cup in France.

Cronin (26), McLoughlin (23), Cadogan (26) and O'Sullivan (24) all started against Galway in last year's All-Ireland semi-final; Sweetnam (20) came on in the second half, while Cahalane (21) was an unused sub.

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