Cork bring in O’Neill and Bowles for U-21 final

THE Cork team to play Tipperary in the Erin Munster Under-21 Hurling Championship final tomorrow night in Thurles (7.15pm) shows two changes from the side that defeated Waterford in the semi-final.

County senior panellist Shane O’Neill comes in at centre back for Aidan Ryan while James Bowles replaces Kevin Canty in attack.

Positional switches sees Bowles in at full-forward, and Patrick Cronin out at left-half forward.

The Tipperary team is unchanged from the side which defeated Clare in the semi-final.

Cork selector Kevin Hennessy who will not be at the game because of health reasons, said he and his colleagues are happy with the team’s preparations despite the distractions.

“We have a clean bill of health which is great and the availability of Shane O’Neill is a huge boost to the team. We are going to Thurles full of confidence that we can but back-to-back titles together but know full well that it will take a huge effort to beat Tipp on their own patch,” he said.

“The performance of Cathal Naughton when he came on with the seniors last Sunday is also a massive boost for the team, but he’ll be a marked man now and that brings its own problems.”

Tipperary selector Len Gaynor said this final is a huge game for his county. “We are craving for success in hurling at the moment and it’s our last chance of a title this year,” he said.

“Cork are certainly on the crest of a wave at the moment, and their senior success last Sunday is bound to give their U-21 team a huge lift.

“We won the corresponding minor final in 2003 by two points, but Cork went on to take All-Ireland. There has been very little between the teams at minor level in recent years and I’m expecting tomorrow night’s clash to be equally close,” he said.

Cork and Tipperary have won the title 17 times each. Cork are reigning champions while Tipperary won back-to-back titles in 2003 and 2004.

Both counties have won the title four years in a row, Cork in 1968-71; Tipperary in 1978-81.

CORK (U21 HC v Tipperary): K. O’Halloran (Bishopstown); C. Murphy (Blackrock), E. Dillon (Milford), E. O’Sullivan (Ballyhea); S. Cronin (Erin’s Own), S. O’Neill (Bishopstown), E. Cadogan (Douglas); C. Naughton (Newtownshandrum), M. Harrington (Douglas); R. Conway (Bishopstown), P. O’Brien (Kildorrery), P. Cronin (Bishopstown); B. Barry (Killeagh), J. Bowles (Newtownshandrum), M. O’Sullivan (Ballyhea).

TIPPERARY (v Cork): G. Kennedy (Killenaule); P. Stapleton (Borris-Ileigh), A. Burns (Shannon Rovers), C. O’Brien (Éire Óg Annacarty); D. Young (Toomevara, Capt), J.B. McCarthy (Golden-Kilfeacle), S. Horan (St Patrick's Drangan); J. Woodlock (Drom & Inch), S. Lillis (Thurles Sarsfields); R. O’Dwyer (Cashel King Cormacs), N. Teehan (Gortnahoe/Glengoole), D. Sheppard (Moycarkey-Borris); R. Ruth (Thurles Sarsfields), D. Egan (Kildangan), R. McLoughney (Kilruane MacDonaghs)

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CourtsGaaHurlingPlace: ThurlesPlace: BishopstownPerson: O’NeillPerson: BowlesPerson: Shane O’NeillPerson: Aidan RyanPerson: James BowlesPerson: Kevin CantyPerson: Patrick CroninPerson: Kevin HennessyPerson: Cathal NaughtonPerson: Len GaynorPerson: K. O’HalloranPerson: C. MurphyPerson: E. DillonPerson: E. O’SullivanPerson: S. CroninPerson: S. O’NeillPerson: E. CadoganPerson: DouglasPerson: C. NaughtonPerson: M. HarringtonPerson: R. ConwayPerson: P. O’BrienPerson: P. CroninPerson: B. BarryPerson: J. BowlesPerson: M. O’SullivanPerson: G. KennedyPerson: P. StapletonPerson: Borris-IleighPerson: A. BurnsPerson: C. O’BrienPerson: Eire Og AnnacartyPerson: D. YoungPerson: ToomevaraPerson: J.B. McCarthyPerson: S. HoranPerson: J. WoodlockPerson: S. LillisPerson: Thurles SarsfieldsPerson: R. O’DwyerPerson: N. TeehanPerson: D. SheppardPerson: Moycarkey-BorrisPerson: R. RuthPerson: D. EganPerson: R. McLoughneyPerson: Kilruane MacDonaghsEvent: Erin Munster Under-21 Hurling ChampionshipOrganisation: CorkOrganisation: TipperaryOrganisation: WaterfordOrganisation: ClareOrganisation: TippOrganisation: All-IrelandOrganisation: U21 HCOrganisation: BlackrockOrganisation: MilfordOrganisation: Erin’s OwnOrganisation: NewtownshandrumOrganisation: BallyheaOrganisation: KillenauleOrganisation: ShannonOrganisation: Golden-KilfeacleOrganisation: St Patrick's DranganOrganisation: Drom & InchOrganisation: Cashel King CormacsOrganisation: GortnahoeOrganisation: GlengooleOrganisation: Thurles SarsfieldsOrganisation: Kildangan
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