Ronan McCarthy: Sean Powter may yet see action with Cork this summer

Sean Powter could see action for the Cork footballers this summer — but only if the county progresses as far as the Super 8s. The luckless forward, who missed Cork’s entire 2018 campaign because of injury, tore his left hamstring during a recent challenge game against Laois and will remain sidelined until late July.

Cork manager Ronan McCarthy said the positive to be taken from Powter’s latest injury setback, which arrived less than three months after he made his inter-county return following 13 months out, was that surgery was not required and so a line has not yet been put through his 2019 season.

“Sean has an outside chance of playing championship football with Cork this summer,” McCarthy said yesterday evening.

“It is dependant on how his recovery goes and how far we go in the championship. We are not ruling him out just yet. [His return-to-play date, provisionally,] is late July.

You could see in the little bits that he played in the league this year, he added to our set-up when he was involved. He is a top player and a huge loss.

Corner-back Sam Ryan, according to McCarthy, is facing a spell of six to nine months on the sideline, owing to a hamstring injury. The St Finbarr’s defender featured in three of Cork’s Division 2 league games this spring.

“Sam’s season is over, for both club and county. He has had surgery and it went successfully. He has a long road back, rehab-wise.

“Sam played championship last year. This is his second year on the panel. He is a really committed guy, always looking to improve. Fellas improve in their second and third years with an inter-county team, so it puts a halt to his gallop a small bit. Obviously, it weakens our options. But, at one point, Sam’s career was threatened that it could be over. So the fact that he will be able to recover, get back and play again for club and county is a positive.”

Like most people, McCarthy was surprised by Limerick’s win over Tipperary in their Munster SFC quarter-final clash earlier this month. Cork welcome the Treaty County to Páirc Uí Rinn on Saturday, June 1, with a Munster final place at stake.

“I thought Tipperary would come through, but having watched the game a number of times, Limerick were deserving winners on the night. Their raw aggression around the pitch impressed me. They didn’t just put men behind the ball.

"They pressed the ball the whole time. They double-teamed, triple-teamed Tipperary. They harassed Tipperary all over the pitch. I felt their decision-making when they came forward was really good. There was no rash shooting.”

Meanwhile, the GAA’s Central Appeals Committee has upheld bans handed down to Carlow football manager Turlough O’Brien, coach Stephen Poacher, and midfielder Brendan Murphy after their respective cases were referred back to the CAC by the Disputes Resolution Authority. The news deals a significant blow to Carlow, who begin their Leinster SFC campaign this Saturday with a quarter-final fixture against Meath.

O’Brien, Poacher, and Murphy were found guilty of “minor physical interference with a referee” and “threatening conduct towards a referee” following the county’s league defeat to Down in March.

The trio confronted Cork referee James Bermingham following the loss, a result which saw Carlow relegated back to Division 4. All three were irate that Bermingham sounded the full-time whistle while Carlow were on the attack.

Down won the game by a single point. The trio do have the option of bringing their cases back to the DRA for a second time. In the absence of O’Brien and Poacher, Carlow selectors Benji O’Brien and Tommy Wogan will patrol the sideline in Portlaoise this Saturday.

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