Harnedy gets the nod for Cork

St. Ita's clubman Seamus Harnedy will make his Championship debut for Cork when they take on Clare in Sunday's Munster SHC semi-final at the Gaelic Grounds (throw-in 4pm).

Harnedy has been handed the centre forward berth after impressing in training and his 2-4 haul in UCC's recent Cork Championship win over Imokilly also helped his cause.

Rebels captain Pa Cronin misses out after a recent bout of pneumonia, although he is rated fit enough for a place among the substitutes.

Full-back Brian Murphy from Bride Rovers will lead the team in Cronin's absence, with the experienced Tom Kenny, who made his Championship bow back in 2004, returning to midfield where he replaces the injured Lorcán McLoughlin (shoulder).

Broken leg victim Paudie O'Sullivan's place is attack is taken by Cian McCarthy, while Stephen McDonnell and Shane O'Neill will both start in defence at the expense of the benched Kilian Murphy and Stephen White.

Douglas clubman Stephen Moylan will make his first Championship start at top of the left. He made four appearances as a substitute in last year's Championship, including a 19-minute cameo in the All-Ireland semi-final defeat to Galway.

In all, manager Jimmy Barry-Murphy has made five changes to the Cork side that lost to Clare in April's Allianz League Division 1A play-off - the new inclusions are Harnedy, Kenny, McCarthy, McDonnell and O'Neill.

Cork have already lost three times to Clare this season, going down in the Waterford Crystal Cup and twice in the league. If they can turn the tables on Davy Fitzgerald's men, they will qualify for the July 14 final against Limerick.

Losing players of the calibre of Cronin, McLoughlin and O'Sullivan is certainly a setback, but corner back Conor O'Sullivan is hoping their replacements can play a part in a winning performance this weekend.

"Everyone is going to have to do it for them and try to get them a game back in the Championship," he told the Irish Examiner.

"Lorcán isn't going to be out for too long and Pa will be back soon hopefully, Paudie is probably a write-off for the year, but those are the lads that have been carrying us for years.

"Lorcán was our best player in the league by a mile and it's so harsh on them. You'd love to see them back.

"You'd be deflated to an extent, but there are three other fellas now who can step up to the plate and it's great for them to get a Championship game. There's good and bad in it."

CORK (SHC v Clare): Anthony Nash; Stephen McDonnell, Brian Murphy, Conor O'Sullivan; Shane O'Neill, Christopher Joyce, William Egan; Tom Kenny, Daniel Kearney; Cian McCarthy, Seamus Harnedy, Conor Lehane; Patrick Horgan, Luke O'Farrell, Stephen Moylan.

Subs: Darren McCarthy, Kilian Murphy, Patrick O'Mahony, Stephen White, Mark Ellis, Rob O'Shea, Cathal Naughton, Jamie Coughlan, Michael Cussen, Pa Cronin, Brian Hartnett.


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