CORK are chasing their 13th Munster intermediate hurling crown when they take on Waterford in tonight’s decider at Fraher Field, Dungarvan at 7.30pm, a repeat of last year’s final encounter in Páirc Uí Chaoimh when Cork enjoyed a 5-24 to 3-9 triumph.
Both sides have rung the changes for tonight’s game from their semi-final victories last month. Cork edged out Limerick in a titanic last four struggle after extra-time and boss Pat Kenneally has made five switches in personnel.
Senior panellist Michael Walsh comes into the team at right corner-back instead of Eoin Clancy, while alongside him Cian Fogarty replaces Kieran Lane at full-back. Mark Ellis comes into the half-back line in place of Stephen White who has gone to the USA for the summer, while Bill Cooper and Colm Casey, both introduced against Limerick, are given the nod to start in the half-forward line.
Waterford manager Liam Óg Daniels has also made five changes for the game from their semi-final success against Clare. Adrian Power replaces Stephen O’Keeffe in goal, while Shane Kearney comes into the defence for Seamus Hannon.
Former senior star Brian Phelan is drafted in at midfield, with Danny Murphy moving to left corner-forward. The other alterations are in attack with Tommy Connors, brother of Waterford senior hurler Noel, replacing Michael O’Gorman at centre-forward and Patrick Hurney, who featured for the Waterford senior footballers in this season’s championship, named at right half-forward.
Phelan’s senior experience will stand to the Déise outfit while UL Fitzgibbon Cup pair Noel Ó Mhurchú and Connors, and Mark Gorman are also key. Cork get the vote to advance with strong defenders in Michael Walsh and Kevin Hartnett, while Eoin Conway, Mark Harrington and Brian Corry provide the firepower.
CORK IH: D McCarthy (Ballymartle); M Walsh (Kildorrery), C Fogarty (Killeagh), B Coleman (Ballinhassig); T Healy (Buttevant), K Hartnett (Russell Rovers), M Ellis (Millstreet); D O’Callaghan (Ballinhassig), B Fitzgerald (Douglas); E Conway (Fr O’Neills), B Cooper (Youghal), C Casey (Inniscarra); M Harrington (Douglas), B Corry (Ballymartle), M O’Sullivan (Tracton). Subs: C Cronin (Lisgoold), A O’Brien (Kildorrery), J Halbert (Watergrasshill), B Lawton (Castlemartyr), K Lane (Kilworth), B O’Tuama (Castlemartyr), S Corry (Ballymartle), E Clancy (Fermoy), D Lucey (Bandon).
WATERFORD IH: A Power (Ballyduff Upper), S Kearney (Dungarvan), J O’Leary (Ballyduff Lower), S Kearney (Lismore); J Coffey (Stradbally), P Murray (Cappoquin), J Hurney (Abbeyside); B Phelan (De La Salle), N O Mhurchú (Ring); P Hurney (Abbeyside), T Connors (Passage East), J Kearney (Ballyduff Upper); M Gorman (Abbeyside), N Jacob (St Saviour’s), D Murphy (Roanmore).
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