Walsh admitted last week his participation in the game was in doubt due to the close proximity between tomorrow night’s game and next Sunday’s crunch Fitzgerald Stadium showdown. The inclusion of Walsh is a boost to Cork’s aspirations of success as he was one of their most impressive performers in last June’s Munster U21HC quarter-final defeat against Tipperary.
Manager Fitzgerald has named four players who were amongst the substitutes for the Cork seniors Munster championship win over Tipperary last Sunday. Conor O’Sullivan starts at left corner-back, Lorcan McLoughlin will play at left half-back, Cian McCarthy is picked at centre-forward and Luke O’Farrell is named at left corner-forward.
The side will be captained by William Egan at centre-back, who has recovered from a shoulder injury sustained while playing for the Cork seniors in a recent challenge game against Galway. Egan is one of only four Cork players that started in last year’s U21 tie with Tipperary, with O’Sullivan, Walsh and McLoughlin the other three. Full-back Eoin Keane and corner-forward Ryan Clifford were both introduced as second-half substitutes during that match, while Robert White, Padraig Gould and Glen O’Connor, who all featured in that game, are amongst the Cork substitutes tomorrow night.
Waterford manager Shane Ahearne has named seven of the team that suffered defeat in last year’s Munster U21 hurling decider against Clare in Dungarvan. Senior star Noel Connors starts at left corner-back and is joined in defence by centre-back Phillip Mahony and left half-back Stephen Daniels. Shane Fives will play at midfield while the full-forward line of Brian O’Sullivan, Maurice Shanahan and Tomas Ryan all started in last year’s final loss. Goalkeeper Stephen O’Keeffe and centre-back Mahony both starred as part of last year’s Waterford minor team that triumphed in the Munster final against Tipperary.
CORK U21H: D McCarthy (Ballymartle); S McDonnell (Glen Rovers), E Keane (St Finbarr's), C O’Sullivan (Sarsfields); J Nagle (Midleton), W Egan (Kilbrin), L McLoughlin (Kanturk); S O’Farrell (Midleton), D Kearney (Sarsfields); M Bowles (Newtownshandrum), C McCarthy (Sarsfields), A Walsh (Kanturk); R Clifford (Newtownshandrum), T Murphy (Carrigaline), L O’Farrell (Midleton).
Subs: K Roche (Banteer), J Herlihy (Newtownshandrum), G O’Connor (St Finbarrs), D Roche (Sarsfields), P Gould (Na Piarsaigh), R White (Carrigtwohill), M Collins (Douglas), F Keane (Newcestown), M O’Sullivan (Tracton).
WATERFORD U21H: S O’Keeffe (Ballygunner); S Kearney (Dungarvan), B Coughlan (Ballygunner), N Connors (Passage); J Prendergast (Lismore), P Mahony (Ballygunner), S Daniels (De La Salle); E Whelan (Mount Sion), S Fives (Tourin); R Fenton (Fourmilewater), S Ahearne (Stradbally), S Kearney (Ballyduff Upper); B O’Sullivan (Ballygunner), M Shanahan (Lismore), T Ryan (Tallow).