Munster MHC champions Clare face a strong test from Cork in Cusack Park, Ennis this evening (7pm) in a backdoor play-off that will determine who faces Limerick in the Jun 29 semi-final.
The clash is Cork’s third outing in eight days, with Pat Kenneally’s side losing to Limerick last Wednesday before hammering Kerry in Tralee on Saturday to resurrect their campaign.
“It’s been a very busy week for us,” admits Rebels boss Kenneally.
“With the Leaving Cert coming up it’s a difficult time for players as it’s an issue if they get injured. We think we’re in with a decent shout but we’re up against Clare, who have a very good record in recent years while Cork’s own recent track record isn’t as good. Having to travel away makes it difficult but we’re looking forward to it.
“We took our goal chances against Kerry which is something we failed to do against Limerick. Hopefully our sight is now sharpened when it comes to scoring and that will rub off on us for [tonight].
“Anthony Spillane and James O’Brien did well for us against Kerry on the back of doing well when they came on against Limerick. But no one is out of picture and we’ll need our whole panel. This is D-Day. It’lldecide whether our year ends or we’re involved for another while.”
Clare have delayed naming their team but will be without centre-forward Shane Liddy after theNewmarket-on-Fergus clubman broke his leg during Wednesday’s opening round loss to Waterford after extra-time. There is still uncertainty over whether Jamie Shanahan, who has starred for the Clare minor side and Ardscoil Rís Dr Harty Cup teams in recent campaigns, will be available as he continues to recover from the shoulder injury incurred while playing for Sixmilebridge in the Clare U21 championship.
Centre-back Conor Cleary, a dual county minor this season, has shaken off injury to be fit for the clash. Goalkeeper Eibhear Quilligan, corner-back Shane O’Brien, midfielder Alex Morey, and corner-forwards Bobby Duggan and Shane O’Donnell will be key members for the Banner set-up.
CORK: P Collins (Ballinhassig); S Murphy(Blackrock), K O’Connor (Mallow), A Dennehy (Charleville); K McIntyre (Carrigaline), P Fitzgerald (Douglas), D Mangan (St Catherine’s); B O’Connell (Blarney), K O’Neill (Watergrasshill); J Cashman (Lisgoold), D Cahill (Cloyne), M Cahalane (Bandon); A Spillane (Castlelyons), P O’Callaghan (Ballyhea), J O’Brien (Charleville).
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