Gould gets nod for Rebels

UNDER 21 ace, Fintan Gould has been handed the full forward slot on the Cork team for Sunday’s crucial National Football League tie with Offaly in Tullamore.

It’s one of two changes from the team which fell to Tyrone last Sunday. Alan Cronin who along with Gould, was a second half substitute against the northerners, retains his place at right corner forward.

Both John Hayes and Kevin McMahon who will be involved in the All-Ireland Club intermediate final on Easter Monday with Carbery Rangers, are being rested.

A positional switch sees Brendan Ger O’Sullivan move out to the 40 with Conor McCarthy switching to his left.

Selector Colman Corrigan said Sunday’s clash with Offaly is make or break for his side.

“We need a win to get back on track. If you look at the games we’ve lost, we should have taken something from all three, but didn’t enjoy the best of luck,” said Corrigan.

“Last Sunday’s defeat was a huge disappointment for us, as we had played particularly well. From experience Cork have always found Offaly very difficult opponents on home soil, but if we can up our game a notch or two, I would be very confident we can win the points.”

Meanwhile, the Cork hurlers will parade just four of their All-Ireland winning team, Brian Murphy, John Gardiner, Brian Corcoran and Kieran Murphy for their Allianz NHL clash with Down at Ballycran on Sunday.

The selected side shows several changes from the team that rode rough-shod over Antrim last weekend.

Martin Coleman takes over the goalkeeping spot from Paul Morrissey on this occasion. Peter Kelly moves to right half back, with John Gardiner operating at centre back and Kevin Hartnett lining up at left half back.

Graham Callinan is moved to midfield.

With the two McCarthy’s, Niall and Timmy being rested, Paul Tierney comes in at centre forward, while Neil Ronan moves out to left half forward and James Bowles comes in at right corner forward.

Mick O’Dwyer will be without Stephen Kelly for Sunday’s football clash with Galway in Pearse Stadium. Kelly received a straight red during the course of last week’s tussle with Kildare and is out for at least a month.

The Laois boss won’t name his team until tomorrow night but will resist the temptation to bring in the Portlaoise players after their club final.

Wexford have made two changes in their hurling team for the visit of Limerick to Wexford Park.

Rory McCarthy who came on for the injured Colm Kehoe in the win over Tipperary, retains his place, but at right half back with Malachy Travers moving to corner back.

The second change sees Mitch Jordan who was unavailable last Sunday, come in for Redmond Barry at right corner forward. Barry will be on football duty against Down on Sunday.

Clare boss Anthony Daly won’t name his team for the trip to Nowlan Park, until just before the game. With a host of county under-21 hurling championships down for decision on St. Patrick’s Day and Saturday, and nine inter-county seniors involved, Daly has decided to wait.

However Seanie McMahon who missed the defeat at the hands of Galway because of a groin injury, is extremely doubtful for the Kilkenny clash.

Tipperary senior football Allstar Declan Browne is set to miss the remaining rounds of the Allianz National Football League having picked up a serious hip muscle injury against Louth.

The Moyle Rovers star was forced to retire before half time as a result of the injury and is currently undergoing intensive treatment. He is certain to miss next Sunday’s visit to Wicklow and initial reports suggest that Browne will be forced to sit out the remaining games in the NFL.

Tipperary have yet to register a win in the league and boss Seamus McCarthy will regard Browne’s loss as a huge blow to their prospects.

CORK (SF v Offaly): K Murphy; N Geary, M Cronin, G Murphy; S Levis, A Lynch, O Sexton; N Murphy, D Kavanagh; J Masters, BJ O’Sullivan, C McCarthy; A Cronin, Fintan Gould, K O’Sullivan.

CORK (SH v Down): M. Coleman; P. Mulcahy, C. O’Connor, B. Murphy; P. Kelly, J. Gardiner, K. Hartnett; R. McGregor, G. Callinan; G. McCarthy, P. Tierney, N. Ronan; J. Bowles, B. Corcoran, K. Murphy.

WEXFORD (SH v Limerick): Damien Fitzhenry; Malachy Travers, Declan Ruth, Keith Rossiter; Rory McCarthy, Darren Stamp, Diarmuid Lyng; David O’Brien, Michael Jacob (capt); Paul Carley, Willie Doran, Eoin Quigley; Micheál Jordan, Nigel Higgins, Des Mythen.

LOUTH (u-21 FC v Dublin): S. McCoy; D. Finnegan, D. Mackin, A. Tinley; C. Sheridan, O. Zambougla, M. Fannin; J. Kermath, R. Carroll; J. O’Brien, S. Lennon, N. Gallagher; T. O’Brien, H. McGinn, P. Mathews.

DUBLIN (u-21FC v Louth): M. Savage; A. Downes, W. Lowry, D. McCann; N. Cooper, B. Cullen, I. Ward; J. Coughlan, E. Fennell; J. O’Brien, B. Phelan, G. O’Meara; M. Vaughan, B. Kennedy, B. Brogan.

TYRONE (U21 v Down): C. Greene; PJ Quinn, P. Marlow, D. Kelly; R. O’Neill, D. Carlin, M. Murray; J. McConville, M. Murphy; M. McCreesh, R. Mulgrew, C. Donnelly; N. McFadden, M. Cunningham, M. Hughes.

BALLINA (SF v Portlaoise): J Healy; J Devenney, M Wynne, C Leonard; B Ruane, S Sweeney, S Melia; R McGarrity, D Brady; P Harte, G Brady, E Casey; P McGarry, L Brady, S Hughes.

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