Hartnett, Nash and O’Neill in for Rebels

DESPITE the disciplinary upheaval surrounding three key players, Cork’s hurling management pressed ahead last night with their selection for Sunday’s Munster SHC semi-final against Waterford in Thurles.

The absence of experienced trio — goalkeeper Donal Óg Cusack, full-back Diarmuid O’Sullivan and wing back Sean Óg Ó hAilpín — means first Championship starts for Anthony Nash of Kanturk between the sticks, Shane O’Neill (Bishopstown) at corner back and Russell Rovers’ Kevin Hartnett at left half back.

Nash, winner of an All-Ireland intermediate medal, is an outstanding goalkeeper with impressive credentials. O’Neill is a former minor and U21 player and won two county minor championships and one U-21 title with Bishopstown.

Hartnett, winner of a Munster U21 medal, captained UCC in this season’s Fitzgibbon Cup.

Brian Murphy and John Gardiner again form the right flank of the Cork defence with Tom Kenny and Jerry O’Connor continuing their midfield partnership. O’Connor damaged a hamstring in the first round game against Clare but has been given the all-clear to play.

There is no change in the Cork attack either. Timmy McCarthy, who was named at full-forward for the Clare match but was forced to withdraw because of injury, is held in reserve, with Kieran Murphy of Sarsfield again lining out at full-forward with captain Kieran Murphy (Erin’s Own), Niall McCarthy and Pa Cronin forming the half forward line with Ben O’Connor and Joe Deane in the respective corners.

Waterford report no injury problems ahead of the semi-final meeting. Allstar Ken McGrath, who sustained a thumb injury recently, is fully fit and raring to go.

Meanwhile the draws for the relegation matches in the Cork SHC, SFC and two grades of intermediate hurling were made last night. With two to go down in senior football, the four teams will play in a round robin series with the bottom two teams relegated.

No dates have been arranged but county secretary Frank Murphy confirmed all four clubs will play on the one day. In the event of Nemo Rangers winning the premier IFC title, only one senior team will be relegated as Nemo cannot have two teams in the senior championship.

CORK (SHC v Waterford): A. Nash (Kanturk); B. Murphy (Bride Rovers), C. O’Connor (Erin’s Own), S. O’Neill, (Bishopstown); J Gardiner (Na Piarsaigh), R Curran (St. Finbarr’s), K. Hartnett (Russell Rovers); T Kenny (Grenagh), J O’Connor (Newtownshandrum); K. Murphy (Erin’s Own), N. McCarthy (Carrigtwohill), P. Cronin (Bishopstown); B. O’Connor (Newtownshandrum), K. Murphy (Sarsfields), J. Deane (Killeagh).

Subs: M Coleman (Ballinhassig); S Murphy (Erin’s Own), P Kelly (Erin’s Own), G Callinan (Glen Rovers), T McCarthy (Castlelyons), N Ronan (Ballyhea), C Naughton (Newtownshandrum), K Canty (Valley Rovers), E Murphy (Erin’s Own), J. Barret (Carrigtwohill), J Halbert (Watergrasshill).

Relegation draws

Round One — Douglas v Carbery Rangers; St. Finbarrs v St. Vincents

Round Two — St. Vincents v Douglas; St. Finbarrs v Carbery Rangers

Round three — St. Finbarrs v Douglas; Carbery Rangers v St. Vincents.

The hurling relegation is a straight knock out with one team to go down.

Bishopstown v Douglas/St. Finbarrs; Blackrock v Castlelyons.

Premier IHC (One team to be relegated): Newcestown v Delanys; Aghada v Mallow.

IHC (One team to go down): St. Finbarr’s v Blackrock; Glen Rovers v Eire Og.

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