Ó hAilpín cleared to play for Cork

SETANTA Ó hAILPÍN has been cleared to play with Cork in tonight’s Munster U21 HC semi-final against Limerick at Páirc Uí Chaoimh (7.30).

There were fears the Cork senior player would be unable to line out after being sent off in a club game at the weekend, for which he received a month’s suspension from the County Board.

Under the new rule governing domestic and inter-county competitions, Ó hAilpín has been cleared to play tonight and will also be available for the All-Ireland senior semi-final on August 10.

However, while his county benefits under the new rules, his club Na Piarsaigh doesn’t.

As a result he will miss next Sunday night’s county SFC clash with defending champions Nemo Rangers and the county SHC game against Imokilly on July 23-24.

It’s understood he will look for a personal hearing on the matter.

His clubmate John Gardiner will join Ó hAilpín on the U21 team for tonight’s game with Limerick.

Gardiner is named at centre-back while Ó hAilpín is in at full-forward on a team which includes 10 members of the All-Ireland winning minor team of 2001.

Munster and All-Ireland champions Limerick include nine of the starting 15 which defeated Galway in last year’s All-Ireland final. Timmy Houlihan is again in goal with Niall Moran partnering Pat Tobin at midfield.

Colleges stars Pat Kirby and Andrew O’Shaughnessy, who captains the team, are named at left half-forward and right corner-forward respectively.

Like the other team coaches, Limerick boss PJ O’Grady is very critical of the system which has denied him the opportunity to prepare his team as he would like.

“When you consider the magnificent games there have been in recent years at this level, it’s a shame the grade is not given the recognition it deserves.

"I don’t believe we ever had a full squad together for training or challenge games.”

Limerick have had the Indian sign over Cork at this level in recent years.

In 2002 and 2001 Limerick were successful by a point while in 2000 they drew with Cork before trouncing in the replay (4-18 to 1-6).

Tipperary include five seniors on their team to play Clare in Ennis tonight (7.30), but are without David Kennedy and Shane Sweeney whom picked up injuries at the weekend.

Team coach Seamus Power is under no illusions about playing Clare on their home ground, saying: “It’s a daunting task, made more difficult because we have been unable to get the full squad together for any serious training.”

Not unexpectedly, the Cork team to play Kerry in Sunday’s Munster MFC final in Killarney in the same which trounced Tipperary in the recent semi-final.

The selectors have concerns about the fitness of Alan O’Connor and Brian Cotter but have named them in the starting 15.

Meanwhile, the draws for the All-Ireland minor hurling championship qualifiers will be made tomorrow.

Cork, Galway, Offaly and Antrim go into the hat for the draw, with two to qualify to play provincial champions Kilkenny and Tipperary in the semi-finals.

Cork (U21 HC v Limerick): M Coleman (Ballinhassig); S Murphy (Erins Own), J O’Brien (Milford), B Murphy (Bride Rovers); G Callanan (Glen Rovers), J Gardiner (Na Piarsaigh),

C O’Connor (Erins Own); P Tierney (Blackrock),

K Hartnett (Russell Rovers); M. O’Connor (Erins Own), K. Murphy (do), Stephen O’Sullivan (Na Piarsaigh); D O’Riordan (Inniscarra), S Ó hAilpín (Na Piarsaigh), K Murphy (Sarsfields).

Limerick (U21 HC v CORK): T Houlihan (Adare); D O’Mahoney (Kilmallock), P O’Dwyer (do), M Clifford (Adare); G Heagney (South Liberties), O Foley (Patrickswell), M O’Brien (Garryspillane); N Moran (Ahane), P Tobin (Murroe/Boher); T Carmody (Croom), P Ryan (Ahane), P Kirby (Knockainey); A O’Shaughnessy (Kilmallock), B Geoghegan (Patrickswell), B Murray (do).

Tipperary (U21 HC v Clare): V Doheny (Mullinahone); E Buckley (Drom-Inch), J Devane (Clonaulty-Rossmore), M Phelan (Ballybacon Grange); M Maher (Borrisoleigh), D Fitzgerald (Roscrea), H Moloney (Nenagh); D Bourke (Loughmore-Castleiney), C O’Mahony (Newport); J O’Brien (Toomevara), E Ryan

(Moycarkey-Borris), P Buckley (Emily); E Kelly (Mullinahone), T Scroope (Burgess), A O’Neill (Cappamore).

Cork (MF v Kerry): J Down (Kilmurry);

S O’Donoghue (Ballincollig), E Cadogan (Douglas), C Barrett (Ballincollig); M Shields (St Finbarr’s), N Horgan (St Nicholas), P Murphy (St Finbarr’s); A O’Connor (St Colms), P Kelly (Ballincollig); J Hayes (Carbery Rangers), B Cotter (Ballincollig), P Kerrigan (Nemo Rangers);

D Goulding (Eire Og), C Weste (Ballincollig), S Bermingham (Douglas).

Subs: D Moynihan (Aughabullogue), G O’Shea (Nemo Rangers), F Tobin (Douglas), S McCarthy (Eire Og), J O’Sullivan (St Finbarr’s), M Milner (Sam Maguires), J Shanahan (Shamrocks),

H Curran (Newcestown), P O’Shea (Nemo Rangers).

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