Cahalane recovers to boost Rebels’ bid to lower Banner

CORK minor football boss Brian Cuthbert takes his side into championship action for the first time tonight when they face Clare in the Munster MFC quarter-final in Cusack Park at 6.30pm after experiencing mixed news on the injury front.

Attacking duo Daniel Fitzgerald (hamstring) and Kevin Hallissey (shoulder) are both ruled out of the equation, but Castlehaven’s Damien Cahalane has recovered to start at midfield. Cahalane has been dogged with finger and leg injuries recently which threatened his participation but they have responded well to treatment is available.

Cork’s side is anchored in defence by Sean O’Shea and Matthew O’Shea, both who starred for Béara CS in their recent All-Ireland Vocational triumph, with Cahalane an imposing figure in midfield. In attack the talents of Brian Hurley, John O’Rourke and Alan Cronin, who all featured last year, will be tipped to lead the way in the scoring stakes.

Clare reached the semi-final stage last year and manager Michael Considine is able to call on four of that side for tonight’s match. Full-back Graham Johnson, wing-back Wesley De Loughrey, wing-forward Seanie Malone and corner-forward Darragh Sexton will spearhead their efforts to succeed.

In Austin Stack Park there, is a repeat of last year’s Munster MFC decider at 7.30pm with the meeting of Kerry and Tipperary. Six of the HS Clonmel team that won the All-Ireland Colleges Senior B football title last Friday have been named in the Tipp lineup by manager David Power.

Captain Paddy Dalton and full-back Jonathan Ryan are their defensive stars with Billy Hewitt and Liam Boland, who contributed 1-9 between them in last Friday’s decider, the sharpshooters up front.

It’s only a fortnight since a Tipperary football team travelled to Tralee to upset the home side and Kerry minor boss Pat O’Driscoll is determined his charges will not suffer the same fate as their U21 counterparts. Tonight represents the start of O’Driscoll’s inter-county managerial career, but he comes armed with impressive credentials, courtesy of the stunning club success he enjoyed with Ardfert.

“Tipperary have always had good footballers but the appointment of John Evans has really brought them on. They don’t fear Kerry and showed that at U21 level.

“They won’t worry about having to travel to Tralee. They have some fine players, including the lads that won the All-Ireland with Clonmel.

“We’ve worked hard but we know what we’re up against. I’m loving this new job. I get as much enjoyment out of U8 and U10 football as I do inter-county. There’s good old spirit in this team and they’ve worked hard, which has made it very enjoyable. Minors are very unpredictable but hopefully we can get the right result now.”

Kerry will be minus their St Brendan’s, Killarney contingent, but if last year’s stars Eanna O’Connor, David Culhane, Mark Reen and James Walsh click, then they can advance.

The final quarter-final tonight sees Limerick and Waterford square off in Kilmallock at 6.30pm.

The home side will look to Shane O’Connor, James O’Meara, Ian Corbett and Jamie Lee for inspiration against a Waterford team backboned by Kevin Phelan, Danny O’Brien, Sam Lawless and Eoin Walsh.

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