CLARE introduce three newcomers to senior intercounty championship hurling, while Cork give call-up papers to Pa Cronin and select Timmy McCarthy at full forward for next Sunday’s Munster first-round clash between the counties at Semple Stadium, Thurles.
On the Clare side Philip Brennan from Tulla takes over the goalkeeping position from the long-serving Davy Fitzgerald. Brendan Bugler from the Whitegate club is named as the new centre back in place of the retired Seanie McMahon. Bugler captained Clare in last season’s Under-21 championship and was also at the helm for UL in this year’s Fitzgibbon Cup competition. While Kevin Dilleen from the St Joseph’s Doora/Barefield club makes his debut as midfield partner to Colin Lynch. A fine dual player, Dilleen concentrated on football for the past two years but has given his allegiance to hurling this time around.
The big talking points surrounding the Cork side will centre on the introduction of the Bishopstown Under-21 player Cronin at left half forward and regular winger Timmy McCarthy, who takes over the full-forward duties from Brian Corcoran, who bowed out after last year’s All-Ireland final defeat by Kilkenny.
Also missing from the side that contested last year’s All-Ireland are Pat Mulcahy and Neil Ronan, who is named in the substitutes.
Brian Murphy moves to right-corner back in place of Mulcahy with Cian O’Connor now occupying the left-corner back berth. With Timmy McCarthy’s selection at full forward team captain Kieran Murphy of Erin’s Own is named at right-half forward, while the introduction of Cronin on the left wing sees Ben O’Connor move to the right corner of attack.
Both full back Diarmuid O’Sullivan and centre back Ronan Curran were given the all-clear to play after sustaining injuries in club games recently.
Injury victim, Ballyhea’s Neil Ronan is back in the squad but has run out of time to be ready for Sunday.
Laois have made just one positional change from the side that won Division 2 of the National League for their Leinster SHC first round clash with Offaly at Tullamore on Sunday. John Brophy and Joe Phelan switch wings with Brophy at top of the right and Phelan in the left corner.
Kildare manager John Crofton has vowed to carry out a complete examination of his squad, including management, after the fall out from Sunday’s defeat to Meath in the Leinster SFC.
Anger among supporters has been voiced on the county’s official GAA website and a thread on the topic of was deleted by the website administrator, county PRO, Alan Bell.
“I’m not going to be critical of individual players on the radio but we didn’t move the ball quickly enough, we should have played more diagonal ball. The game plan was to play at pace and we didn’t do that,” said Crofton.
“The players have a week off now and they’ll play a round of league matches with their clubs on Saturday and we’ll meet up again on Sunday morning. But we’ll have a root and branch examination of where we failed, as players and management. No group of players have given more, no group have been more professional. We had a lot of good players on the injured list and we have to get our heads around the defeat.”
Meanwhile PJ Banville is out of Wexford’s opening Leinster SFC game after suffering damaged ankle ligaments while playing soccer.
The Horeswood clubman missed out on his club’s opening defence of their county senior football title, while he has been absent from Wexford’s preparations for a number of weeks.
The injury has been slow responding to treatment. While it originally had threatened his participation against the winners of Wicklow/Louth on Sunday week, the team management have now ruled him out completely.
CLARE (SHC v Cork): P. Brennan; G. O’Grady, B. O’Connell, F. Lohan (capt); A. Markham, B. Bugler, G. Quinn; C. Lynch, K. Dilleen; J. Clancy, D. McMahon, N. Gilligan; A. Quinn, F. Lynch, B. Nugent.
CORK (SHC v Clare); D. Óg Cusack; B. Murphy, D. O’Sullivan, C. O’Connor; J. Gardiner, R. Curran, S. Óg Óh-Ailpín; T. Kenny, J. O’Connor; K. Murphy (Erins Own), N. McCarthy, P. Cronin; B. O’Connor, T. McCarthy, J. Deane. Subs. A. Nash, K. Hartnett, N. Ronan, C. Naughton, K. Canty, K. Murphy (Sarsfields). G. Callinan, S. O’Neill, P. Kelly, M. Coleman, E. Murphy, S. Murphy, J. Barrett, J. Halbert.
LAOIS (SHC v Offaly): P. Mullaney; C. Healy, D. Rooney, K. Fitzpatrick; M. McEvoy, M. Whelan, C. Dunne; J. Fitzpatrick, S. Dollard; W. Hyland, J. Young, James Phelan; J. Brophy, T. Fitzgerald, Joe Phelan.
CORK (IHC v Clare): K. O’Halloran (Bishopstown); J. Crowley (Newcestown), L. Hayes (Dromina), J. O’Callaghan (Inniscarra); P. O’Brien (Glen Rovers), P. O’Dwyer (Ballymartle), D. Fitzgerald (Charleville); E. Dillon (Milford), J. Horgan (Brian Dillons); B. Corry (Ballymartle), L. Desmond (Youghal), J. Halbert (Watergrasshill); A. Mannix (Kilworth), J. O’Callaghan (Castletownroche), T. Murray (Bishopstown).
Subs: K. Walsh (Kilworth), B. Coleman (Ballyhea), PJ Copse (Newtownshandrum), S. White (Ballygarvan), S. O’Sullivan (Tracton), S. Casey (Dungourney), J. O’Driscoll (Newcestown), P. Murphy (Carrigaline), N. Buckley (Aghabullogue).