Cork forward Luke Connolly out of crucial Armagh tie

Cork forward Luke Connolly out of crucial Armagh tie
Cork's Luke Connolly goes off injured against Donegal. Picture: Eddie O'Hare

Cork forward Luke Connolly will miss this Sunday's must-win league fixture away to Armagh, dealing a significant blow to the Rebels' survival hopes.

The Nemo Rangers sharpshooter hobbled out of Cork's defeat to Donegal last Saturday, with the Cork management confirming the injury Connolly sustained during second-half injury-time at Páirc Uí Rinn will sideline the 26-year old for the trip to the Athletic Grounds.

Connolly has started all six of Cork's Division 2 games this spring, top-scoring with 0-18 (0-12 frees). Also ruled out for the away fixture to Armagh is goalkeeper Micheál Martin.

Having been selected between the sticks for Cork's three most recent league games, Martin was forced off early in the second half of the 1-19 to 1-12 reverse to Donegal with an apparent groin injury. 

Midfielder and captain Ian Maguire had to be carried off approaching the finish of last Saturday's contest.

Management have rated him a "major doubt" for the county's final game of their Division 2 campaign. Cork must overcome Kieran McGeeney's charges, and hope that Clare do not beat Tipperary, in order to avoid relegation to the league's third tier. 

Such is the importance of Sunday's fixture, management may be forced to involve Seán Powter to a greater extent than has been the case in recent outings. Having been sidelined for almost 13 months because of persistent hamstring difficulties, 16 minutes is the most Powter has been afforded in any of the three games where he came on as a second-half sub.

Mark Collins is free to start for Cork, his red card against Donegal arising from two bookable offences. 

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