Injured sextet return as Counihan shuffles Cork deck

AFTER prolonged absences, Alan Quirke, Anthony Lynch, Graham Canty, Donnacha O’Connor, Kevin McMahon and Colm O’Neill return to the Cork team for Sunday’s final game in the preliminary rounds of the Allianz NFL against Mayo at Páirc Uí Chaoimh.

From the side that defeated Derry at Celtic Park, Quirke takes over from Paddy O’Shea in goal. Lynch comes in at left corner back, with Eoin Cotter moving to right corner back to the exclusion of Ray Carey.

Kieran O’Connor replaces Paudie Kissane at right half back, Ger Spillane takes over the centre-back position, with Canty standing in for Noel O’Leary at left half back.

Aidan Walsh of Kanturk and Derek Kavanagh are the new midfield pairing with Alan O’Connor sitting this on out and Nicholas Murphy still injured. Donnacha O’Connor is placed on the 40 after serving a one month’s suspension term, with Carbery Rangers representative McMahon making his first league appearance of the season at left half forward.

Recovered from injury, Colm O’Neill is named at right corner forward. Ciarán Sheehan is chosen at full forward ahead of Fiachra Lynch, while John Hayes moves from centre forward to the left corner of attack with Paul Kerrigan dropping out.

Mayo manager John O’Mahony will not name his team until just before the match. Midfielder Ronan McGarritty and corner forward Enda Varley are both suffering from hamstring injuries and will undergo late fitness tests.

Tyrone make four changes from the side that defeated Kerry a fortnight ago for their clash with Dublin at Omagh on Sunday. Jonathan Curran takes over in goal. Mark Donnelly replaces Owen Mulligan, who misses out through a back injury picked up at work. Philip Jordan starts for the first time since last season’s All-Ireland semi final defeat by Cork, while Brian McGuigan comes in at centre forward.

For their crucial game against Clare at Fraher Field, Dungarvan on Sunday Waterford have made three changes in defence from the side that trounced Kilkenny in their last match. Maurice O’Gorman and Kieran Connery take over the corner back berths from Paul Ogle and Conor Phelan, while Niall Hennessy is preferred to John Phelan at left half back.

Wexford have made one change in personnel from the side that defeated Roscommon for their clash with Antrim at Wexford Park on Sunday.

Ben Brosnan replaces Pat Naughter at full forward, while a positional switch sees Redmond Barry moving to centre forward with Ciaran Lyng now at top of the right.

Meanwhile, former Footballer of the Year Pádraig Joyce has made his first appearance of the year on the field but Galway boss Joe Kernan will not risk him on Sunday against Derry.

The 33-year old has been out of action since last year’s championship and underwent a procedure for a troublesome Achilles injury in the autumn. Joyce is now back playing football but Kernan said he wants to make sure he is ready for the championship.

Limerick boss Mickey Ned O’Sullivan has delayed naming his starting side for Sunday’s crucial NFL Division 4 clash against Leitrim due to injury problems.

Sean Buckley, Conor Mullane, Barry Fitzpatrick and John Mullane all incurred hamstring injuries during the victory over Clare last Saturday, with Fitzpatrick and Conor Mullane both definitely out of contention. Buckley and John Mullane will be given late fitness tests.

CORK (SF v Mayo): A Quirke; E Cotter, M Shields, A Lynch; K O’Connor, G Spillane, G Canty; A Walsh, D Kavanagh; F Goold, D O’Connor, K McMahon; C O’Neill, C Sheehan, J Hayes.

TYRONE SF v Dublin): J Curran; D Carlin, J McMahon, R McMenamin; D Harte, C Gormley, P Jordan; A Cassidy, C Cavanagh; K Coney, B McGuigan, P Harte; M Penrose, S Cavanagh, M Donnelly.

WATERFORD (SF v Clare): T Wall; M O’Gorman T O’Gorman K Connery; T Grey S Briggs N Hennessy; T Prendergast M Ahearne; B Wall C McGrath W Hennessy; G Hurney R Ahearne L O’Lionain.

WEXFORD (SF V Antrim): A Masterson; D Carter, J Wadding, N Murphy; B Malone, D Murphy, A Doyle; B Doyle, E Bradley; C Deely, R Barry, A Flynn; C Lyng, B Brosnan, S Roche.

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Join us for a special evening of Cheltenham chat on Friday March 12 at 6.30pm with racing legend and Irish Examiner columnist Ruby Walsh, Irish Examiner racing correspondent Tommy Lyons, and former champion jockey and tv presenter Mick Fitzgerald, author of Better than Sex.

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