O’Connor, O’Neill miss out for Rebels

CORK must plan without Shane O’Neill and Jerry O’Connor for Sunday’s All-Ireland SHC quarter-final against Antrim at Croke Park, while defenders Seán Óg Ó hAilpín and Ronan Curran continue to be classed as major doubts for the game.

O’Connor and Ó hAilpín were both forced to sit out last Saturday’s Munster SHC final replay defeat against Waterford due to hamstring injuries, and while Ó hAilpín could still return for this game, the Newtownshandrum man will be sidelined once more.

Bishopstown’s O’Neill was forced to withdraw during the clash with a hamstring problem that rules him out of this weekend’s last eight tie while centre-back Curran is struggling with a dead leg sustained in that game.

The Cork footballers also have injury concerns to deal with ahead of Saturday’s All-Ireland SFC qualifier round 4 clash against Limerick in the Gaelic Grounds. Midfielder Alan O’Connor was forced to retire at half-time in Sunday’s qualifier victory over Wexford and is still rated as an injury doubt, while Nicholas Murphy who replaced O’Connor in that match also has fitness problems.

Defensive duo Jamie O’Sullivan and Paudie Kissane both picked up knocks against Wexford, and the fitness of this quartet will be monitored before Conor Counihan names his 15.

Meanwhile, Monaghan goalkeeper Shane Duffy is expected to shake off a quad muscle complaint in order to be fit for their All-Ireland qualifier against Kildare in Croke Park on Saturday. Duffy has been responding well to treatment which should ensure manager Seamus McEnaney can keep defender Darren Hughes out of goal. Full-back JP Mone looks certain to be out of action are twisting his knee in the Ulster final against Tyrone. Down boss James McCartan is hopeful of being able to include attacker Danny Hughes in his starting line-up for Saturday’s qualifier tie against Sligo.

The Saval half-forward was unable to start against Offaly due to a stress fracture in his left foot but did come off the bench to play in the closing stages.


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