Thursday 22 March 2018

Murphy makes Rebels return

Veteran defender named in final line-up after sensational recovery from broken collarbone


BRIAN Murphy's miraculous recovery from a broken collarbone was completed when he was selected by Cork to start in Sunday's All-Ireland SHC final against Clare.

Murphy (right) suffered the injury in a club game in late June, just after the same two sides met in the Munster semi-final, and it was expected to rule him out of the rest of the season.

But the 31-year-old from Bride Rovers avoided surgery by visiting a specialist in Britain who treats jockeys and got it manipulated back into place, allowing him to recover more quickly.

The man to lose out is fellow veteran Tom Kenny and while Murphy is named at wing-back, he is likely to move to centre-back in a switch with Chris Joyce to do a direct marking job on the Banner's teenage centre-forward Tony Kelly, whom he kept very quiet in the Munster semi-final.

Cork now have the same six defenders from that game, while midfielder Lorcan McLoughlin, centre-forward Pa Cronin and corner-forward Jamie Coughlan have also since returned to strengthen them.

Clare are not naming their team until tonight, but are expected to be unchanged from the side who were so impressive against Limerick.

Waterford's minors have named the same starting 15 that beat Kilkenny, but with some positional switches in the forwards.

Meanwhile, a five-man executive committee set up by the Kildare County Board to find a successor to axed manager Kieran McGeeney is likely to take soundings in the coming days over the prospect of reinstating him.

The committee was put in place shortly after McGeeney's removal to find a successor but a players' statement, issued by the Gaelic Players Association yesterday, calling for his reinstatement looks set to be the first item on the agenda.

There were indications last night that some delegates and clubs may be willing to soften their position and back any fresh proposal for one more year.

It is estimated that 11 of the county's 16 senior clubs voted against him on Tuesday night, while four members of the executive also went against him. But it's unlikely McGeeney would allow himself to be drawn back into any new vote.

CORK (SH v Clare) – A Nash; S McDonnell, S O'Neill, C O'Sullivan; B Murphy, C Joyce, W Egan; L McLoughlin, D Kearney; S Harnedy, P Cronin, C Lehane; L O'Farrell, P Horgan, J Coughlan.

WATERFORD (MH v Galway) – G Power; W Hahessey, K Daly, C Leamy; M Harney, A Gleeson, Shane Bennett; M O'Brien, T Devine; Stephen Bennett, DJ Foran, M Kearney; A Farrell, P Curran, C Roche.

Irish Independent

Sport Newsletter

The best sport action straight to your inbox every morning.

Editor's Choice

Also in Sport