Masters dropped in new-look Rebels side

A NEW broom sweeps clean and that adage can certainly be applied to the Cork senior football selection committee, who have made seven changes to the team that lost to Kerry in last year’s All-Ireland final for Sunday’s Munster SFC semi-final against Limerick at the Gaelic Grounds.

Dropped are Kieran O’Connor, Conor McCarthy, James Masters, Derek Kavanagh and Michael Cussen. Kevin McMahon and John Miskella were not considered because of injury.

In comes Brian O’Regan at left corner back, for championship debut, Diarmuid Duggan at right corner back, Paudie Kissane at right half back, Alan O’Connor at midfield, Sean O’Brien at left half forward and John Hayes at left corner forward, while Daniel Goulding, who came on and scored a goal in the All-Ireland final, starts at right corner forward.

There is no place for Masters, one of the best scoring forwards in the county championship in recent seasons. He hasn’t been doing the business for the county selectors in recent games and has paid the price.

Last year’s captain Derek Kavanagh loses out because of a lack of form. Alan O’Connor, from St Colums club in Kealkil, partners Nicholas Murphy at midfield. He is also making his championship debut.

Coach Conor Counihan said some of the calls were very hard to make but the selectors went on form in training and in the recent challenge games.

Limerick name their team after training tonight, but Conor Mullane and Conal Ó Crualai are ruled out because of injury. Neither played in the opening round win over Tipperary.

Galway football manager Liam Sammon has made three changes from the side that defeated Roscommon in the opening round for Sunday’s Connacht’s semi-final against Leitrim. Kieran Fitzgerald is injured and replaced by Damien Burke at left corner back; Barry Cullinane and Damien Dunleavy are dropped, replaced by Niall Coleman and Nicky Joyce at midfield and left half forward respectively.

Óisin McConville remains a doubt for Armagh, who open their Ulster championship campaign against Cavan in Breffni Park on Sunday. A back injury has curtailed his training, but county PRO Joe Jordan said he “is keen to give it one more season”.

Clare’s Niall Considine and team captain Michael O’Shea are ruled out of the Munster SFC semi-final against Kerry in Fitzgerald Stadium on Sunday. Both are struggling with calf injuries.

Down suffered a major blow ahead of Saturday’s Ulster SFC replay against Tyrone with the news that Dan Gordon has been ruled out with a broken thumb. The giant midfielder, who produced a man of the match performance in the Healy Park draw, suffered a break and will be out of action for up to six weeks as a result.

Wexford attacker Stephen Nolan faces a race against time to be fit for the Leinster SHC semi-final against Dublin on Sunday following a thumb injury received in a club league game a number of weeks back.

Team manager John Meyler admitted: “We really don’t know what the position with Stephen is. He’s been unable to train over the past number of weeks. That’s a call we’ll have to make when we finalise the team tonight.”

On a brighter note Keith Rossiter has declared himself fit. He has shown up well in training and with all the other players 100% fit coach Meyler says: now is the time to mix it with the big boys for the summer: “The challenge is to step up, meet the Dubs head-on and fashion out a result.”

CORK (SFC v Limerick): A. Quirke (Valley Rovers); D. Duggan (Ilen Rovers), G. Canty (Bantry), B. O’Regan (Nemo Rangers); P. Kissane (Clyda Rovers), G. Spillane (Ballygarvan), N. O’Leary (Cill na Martra); N. Murphy (Carrigaline), A. O’Connor (St. Colums); P. O’Neill (Aghada), F. Gould (Macroom), D. O’Connor (Ballydesmond), J. Hayes (Carbery Rangers).

GALWAY (SFC v Leitrim): P. Doherty; G. Bradshaw, F. Hanley, D. Burke; D. Meehan, N. Coyne, G. Size; N. Coleman, M. Lydon; P. Conroy, P. Joyce (c), N. Joyce; M. Clancy, M. Meehan, F. Breathnach.


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