Cork include débutants for league opener

Cork manager Gerald McCarthy's plan to use a blend of old and new for the NHL campaign will get its first airing on Sunday, with Bishopstown's Patrick Cronin and Eoghan Murphy of Erin's Own both set to make their senior debuts.

Cork manager Gerald McCarthy's plan to use a blend of old and new for the NHL campaign will get its first airing on Sunday, with Bishopstown's Patrick Cronin and Eoghan Murphy of Erin's Own both set to make their senior debuts.

McCarthy has named the pair, who are scholarship students at UCC, in his attack for the Division 1A opener against Offaly (Pairc Ui Chaoimh, throw-in 2.30pm).

Spearheading the Cork forward unit will be Diarmuid O'Sullivan who continues in his role as a makeshift full-forward.

Selected at right half-forward, Cronin was a regular on last season's Cork Under-21 team, while Murphy will man the right corner forward berth - he is a brother of new team captain Kieran Murphy.

There are six changes, in all, to the Cork side that lost the recent Waterford Crystal Cup final to Tipperary.

Donal Óg Cusack returns in goal, replacing Martin Coleman, while Cian O'Connor and Sean Óg O hAilpín are new inclusions in defence - this weekend's clash will mark O hAilpín's first appearance of the season, he steps in at left half-back for John Gardiner who is ill.

Up front Ciaran McGann makes way for Cronin, Timmy McCarthy takes over from Kevin Canty in the half-forward line, with Jonathan O'Callaghan stepping down for newcomer Murphy in the right corner.

CORK (NHL v Offaly) - D Óg Cusack; W Sherlock, C O'Connor, B Murphy; G Callinan, R Curran, S Óg O hAilpín; K Murphy (capt), T Kenny; P Cronin, N McCarthy, T McCarthy; E Murphy, D O'Sullivan, J Deane.

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