GOOD news for Cork fans as Brian Hurley and Sean Powter have shaken off their injury concerns and are fit to line out against Kerry in Sunday’s Munster SFC semi-final at Páirc Uí Chaoimh (4pm).
Both Hurley and Powter had been doubts for the Rebels and missed the recent Division 3 league win against Louth that clinched the title and promotion, but they’re back in the starting 15 for this weekend’s derby.
The surprise name on the Cork panel is on the bench where Mitchelstown’s Mark Keane (20) has been named as a sub. The former Cork minor and U20 plays in the AFL with Collingwood and made his debut against Fremantle in August. He recently signed a new deal with Collingwood to keep him with the Magpies until the end of the 2022 season. Is this a possible wildcard to catch Kerry by surprise?
Elsewhere, three of last year’s All-Ireland winning Cork U20 team will start on Sunday with Maurice Shanley and Sean Meehan named full back and centre back respectively while Colm O’Callaghan is named at centre forward. Two more of last year’s U20 panel, Paul Ring and Damien Gore, are on the bench.
Ronan McCarthy has had to plan for this must-win battle without a host of injured players – Ciarán Sheehan, Liam O’Donovan, Tomás Clancy and Kevin Crowley – but there is depth to the panel and Cork have options to come off the bench on Sunday, too.
CORK TEAM v KERRY: Micheál A Martin (Nemo Rangers); Sean Powter (Douglas), Maurice Shanley (Clonakilty), Kevin Flahive (Douglas); Kevin O’Donovan (Nemo Rangers), Sean Meehan (Kiskeam), Mattie Taylor (Mallow); Ian Maguire (St Finbarr’s), Killian O’Hanlon (Kilshannig); John O’Rourke (Carbery Rangers), Colm O’Callaghan (Éire Óg), Ruairi Deane (Bantry Blues); Mark Collins (Castlehaven), Brian Hurley (Castlehaven), Luke Connolly (Nemo Rangers).
Subs: Anthony Casey (Kiskeam), Sam Ryan (St Finbarr’s), Paul Ring (Aghabullogue), Michael Hurley (Castlehaven), Tadhg Corkery (Cill na Martra), Paul Walsh (Kanturk), Kevin O’Driscoll (Tadhg MacCarthaigh), Sean White (Clonakilty), Paul Kerrigan (Nemo Rangers), Mark Keane (Mitchelstown), Damien Gore (Kilmacabea).