A number of potential newcomers have been ruled out due to involvement with third-level outfits in the pre-season competition yet the management are set to give game time to defensive duo Mark Ellis (Millstreet) and Cian Fogarty (Killeagh) and attacker Bill Cooper (Youghal) in Sunday’s clash. All three were members of the Cork team that reached last year’s All-Ireland IHC final with defender Paul O’Leary, who featured for Blarney in their 2009 All-Ireland Club IHC success, another newcomer in the frame.
Cork’s line-up is also likely to feature panellists from last season like Graham Callanan from Glen Rovers and Sarsfields Ray Ryan. The Cork management have been busy on the challenge game circuit with development sides in action against Limerick IT and Waterford IT as preparations intensify ahead of the NHL Division 1 opener against Offaly on February 13.
Meanwhile, Ballymartle’s hopes of success in Sunday week’s All-Ireland Club IHC semi-final against Padraig Pearses have been dealt a huge blow after attacker Brian Corry has been ruled out with a broken arm. Corry sustained the injury in a challenge match against Waterford senior champions De La Salle, who are preparing for their All-Ireland Club semi-final date on February 26. Corryis to see a specialist today to determine whether he needs to undergo an operation but will definitely miss the clash against the Galway champions in Nenagh. Ballymartle have further injury worries over defensive duo Daniel Coleman and Daniel Edmonds. Corner-back Coleman is recovering from a broken wrist he incurred before Christmas while wing-back Edmonds has a broken thumb. It is hoped both players will resume training this weekend to prove their fitness.
Meanwhile, former Kerry underage star Paddy Curran is to play his club football with Cork senior outfit Bishopstown. The Waterville native has been plagued with a cruciate ligament injury but the attacker is still a valuable addition if he can recapture the form displayed during a glittering underage career. Curran was a member of the 2008 Kerry All-Ireland U21 winning side. He played three years for the Kerry minors but tasted defeat in two All-Ireland finals. He also enjoyed a stellar Munster colleges record with Coláiste na Sceilge and in 2003 became the first player to win the three premier second-level football competitions — Corn Uí Mhuiri, Frewen Cup and Corn Uí Mhoráin — in the same year.
Tyrone (SF v Donegal McKenna Cup): J Curran; A McCrory, C McCarron, M Swift; D Harte, C Gormley, R McMenamin; A Cassidy, S Cavanagh; C Cavanagh, B McGuigan, C Gervin; M Penrose, S O’Neill, M Donnelly.