BY KIERAN McCARTHY
CARBERY Rangers will give late fitness tests to three players ahead of Sunday’s Cork SFC round-two clash against Clyda Rovers in Coachford, at 2pm.
Ross have more than their fair share of walking wounded this season, with midfield pairing James Fitzpatrick and Michael Mennis, as well as Rob Hegarty all doubtful, while Kevin McMahon (hand injury) and John O’Rourke (shoulder) are both ruled out.
Cork forward O’Rourke suffered a shoulder injury in the Division 1 league final defeat to Dublin in Croke Park two weeks ago, and is to undergo a scan this Thursday (May 14th) to discover the extent of the damage.
‘There was a lot of inflammation around the injury and it can’t be scanned until it calms down so we need to wait and see what the scan says,’ O’Sullivan explained.
Clyda are not without their own problems as Conor O’Sullivan was red carded in last weekend’s first-round defeat to Castlehaven, while midfielder Fionn O’Shea and centre forward Conor Flanagan both limped off with injuries.
Ross, last year’s defeated county finalists, were stunned by Valley Rovers’ epic late, late show in their first-round loss, and Haulie O’Sullivan’s depleted charges have to pull together now.
‘James, Mike and Rob will be assessed on Sunday morning to see how they are but the time scale is so short that they won’t have trained in between games. We have to wait until Sunday morning to see who’s ready,’ O’Sullivan said.
‘We would have been delighted if we got out of Ballinascarthy with a win (against Valleys) when you consider that by the end we were down five or six lads that started the county final last year.
‘It would have been great to get over it and give lads a chance to recover.
‘But we’re in round two now and if we don’t perform we’ll be in round three. We have to pick ourselves up and dust ourselves off.’
O’Sullivan was quite pleased with his side’s performance for 50 minutes against Valleys, at which stage they led by five, before the wheels came off. But now they need a performance against a battling Clyda team that they defeated, 1-12 to 0-10, in round six of the Kelleher Shield in April.
‘Judging by when we played in the league this year up in Mourneabbey it was a really tough game and Sunday will be no different,’ the Ross boss said.
‘Against Castlehaven they were on top for the first half of the game, and it takes a good team to get on top of Castlehaven. It’s going to be very difficult.
‘They are very fit, very organised and a very honest team that keeps going to the final whistle – you saw that against Castlehaven last Saturday. You have to match their work rate.’
‘Last year we had a clean run and had no injuries, but now all of a sudden we have a few injuries going against us – that can happen to any team so fellas need to step up, put their shoulder to the wheel, perform on the day and get us over the line.’