There are first championship starts for Tommy O’Connell and Brian Roche in the Cork team for Sunday’s Munster SHC clash with Waterford at Páirc Uí Chaoimh (4pm).
Every player in manager Pat Ryan’s first selection has championship experience but O’Connell and Roche had been limited to substitute appearances up to this point.
With Eoin Downey – so impressive during the Allianz Hurling League – suspended after his red card against Kilkenny in the league semi-final, his older brother Robert is chosen at full-back, flanked by Niall O’Leary – who captains the side in the absence of the injured Seán O’Donoghue – and Damien Cahalane, in front of goalkeeper Patrick Collins.
Midleton’s O’Connell made the number 5 jersey his own during the league and he is chosen alongside Ciarán Joyce and Ger Millerick, whose league outing were limited to a start against Westmeath and appearances off the bench against Clare and Kilkenny.
Darragh Fitzgibbon hasn’t featured at all this year due to a shoulder injury but he has recovered and partners Roche at midfield after the Bride Rovers man did well in the spring. While Séamus Harnedy and Fr O’Neills player Declan Dalton were both forced off injured after scoring goals against Clare in Cork’s final round-robin league match, both are able to start in a half-forward line that also includes Conor Lehane.
With Shane Kingston’s hamstring injury meaning he can only be named as a sub, the full-forward line is composed of Luke Meade – likely to play a roving role – Patrick Horgan and Shane Barrett.
Robbie O’Flynn, forced off in Cork’s opening league win over Limerick and out of action since, is also among the subs, as is Tim O’Mahony, while O’Donoghue is one of four standby players.
CORK (SHC v Waterford): Patrick Collins (Ballinhassig); Niall O’Leary (Castlelyons, captain), Robert Downey (Glen Rovers), Damien Cahalane (St Finbarr’s); Tommy O’Connell (Midleton), Ciarán Joyce (Castlemartyr), Ger Millerick (Fr O’Neills); Brian Roche (Bride Rovers), Darragh Fitzgibbon (Charleville); Séamus Harnedy (St Ita’s), Conor Lehane (Midleton), Declan Dalton (Fr O’Neills); Luke Meade (Newcestown), Patrick Horgan (Glen Rovers), Shane Barrett (Blarney).
Subs: Ger Collins (Ballinhassig), Cormac O’Brien (Newtownshandrum), Tim O’Mahony (Newtownshandrum), Brian O’Sullivan (Kanturk), Ethan Twomey (St Finbarr’s), Conor Cahalane (St Finbarr’s), Brian Hayes (St Finbarr’s), Seán Twomey (Courcey Rovers), Robbie O’Flynn (Erin’s Own), Pádraig Power (Blarney), Shane Kingston (Douglas).
Standby: Cormac Beausang (Midleton), Alan Cadogan (Douglas), Seán O’Donoghue (Inniscarra), Sam Quirke (Midleton).
News Source: https://www.echolive.ie/corksport/arid-41126815.html