Ronan Curran, who missed last weekend’s narrow victory over Antrim, returns at centre-back with Cian O’Connor of Erin’s Own now taking over Ó hAilpín’s regular left half-back position.
John Gardiner makes his first appearance in the competition, taking over from Kenny in the middle of the field. Former dual minor star Kieran Murphy, of Erin’s Own, also makes his first outing in the competition. He is selected at left half-forward, with Seanie McGrath moving into the left corner-forward berth, to the exclusion of Eoin Fitzgerald. Offaly report no injury problems but won’t be announcing their team until tomorrow night.
David Hayes from Kiltormer, a nephew of team manager Conor, has been called into the Galway team for their clash with Waterford at Walsh Park on Sunday.
Hayes, who played a leading role in Waterford IT’s recent Fitzgibbon cup victory, replaces Mark Kerins at right corner-forward. This is the only change from the side that crashed to an unexpected defeat by Clare on the Tribesmen’s home patch on Sunday.
Brian Quinn, Jamesie O’Connor and Alan Markham are extremely doubtful for Clare’s mouth-watering clash with All-Ireland champions Kilkenny at Cusack Park on Sunday.
All three sustained nasty injuries during last weekend’s exciting win over Galway at Pearse Stadium. Both O’Connor and Markham were forced to hobble off with leg injuries, while Quinn badly a damaged a finger.
To add to Clare’s woes, full-back Brian Lohan, who still has to make a appearance in the competition, will again miss out because of a long-term hamstring injury.
Ciaran Carey looks certain to miss out on Limerick’s meeting with Wexford in the League at the Gaelic Grounds. He sustained a leg injury in the defeat by Tipperary and was unable to take his place last Sunday. His Patrickswell club colleague Paul O’Grady has taken over the captaincy.
Wexford, meanwhile, are awaiting fitness tests on Keith Rossiter, Darren Spain and Colm Keogh before finalising their team later in the week. Rossiter (knee) Spain (hamstring), Keogh (hamstring) are all considered to be extremely doubtful.
But Adrian Fennell, recently returned from his honeymoon, isexpected to make the Wexford starting fifteen.
The Tipperary team to meet Antrim in Thurles shows one change from that which started against Wexford last time out. Declan Fanning of Killenaule will start at right half-back in place of Eamonn Corcoran. Meanwhile, Paddy O’Brien of Toomevara, who was a late replacement for Eoin Kelly last Sunday, retains his place. Eamonn Corcoran and Eoin Kelly are named among the substitutes.
Dublin are almost certain to be without three of their most highly-rated performers Kevin Ryan, Derek O’Reilly and David Curtin for their bottom-of-the-table clash with Laois at Portlaoise.
Centre-back Curtin picked up a bad knee injury in last weekend’s defeat by Waterford. O’Reilly has a shoulder injury, while ace free-taker Curtin is labouring with a thigh injury. Laois have no injury problems, but when their management meets tomorrow night, changes are expected to be made following some inept individual performances last weekend when they went down to Kilkenny.
CORK (SH v Offaly) D. Óg Cusack; W. Sherlock, D. O’Sullivan, M. Prendergast; G. Callinan, R. Curran, C. O’Connor; J. Gardiner, P. Tierney; J. O’Callaghan, M. Byrne, K. Murphy (Erins Own); K. Murphy (Sarsfields), B. Lombard, S. McGrath. TIPPERARY (SH v Antrim): B Cummins, T Costello, J Devane, M Phelan, D Fanning, D Kennedy, D Fitzgerald, E Enright, P Kelly, P O’Brien, J Carroll, B Dunne, S Butler, G. O’Grady, L Corbett.
GALWAY (SH v Waterford): L. Donoghue; D. Joyce, S. Cloonan, O. Canning; D. Hardiman, D. Hayes; F. Moore; F. Healy, T. Regan; A. Kerins, D. Forde, D. Tierney; D. Hayes, E. Cloonan, R. Gantley.