BY DENIS HURLEY
INJURY worries over key attackers Evan Sheehan and Brian Turnbull are the main concerns for Cork minor hurling manager Denis Ring ahead of Sunday’s Electric Ireland All-Ireland final clash with Galway in Croke Park (1.15pm).
Na Piarsaigh player Sheehan scored two goals in the Munster final win over Clare but missed the All-Ireland semi-final against Dublin, a game in which Turnbull starred. However, an injury while playing for his club Douglas has impacted on Turnbull’s chances and Ring admits that their absence would be big losses.
‘We’ve two injuries and we’re worried about them,’ he says.
‘Brian Turnbull picked up a hamstring injury playing against Killeagh last week and Evan Sheehan has a medial ligament injury.
‘They’re the last two men of the match with problems, we’ll do everything we possibly can to get them onto the pitch but it’s a worry.
‘That’s where your panel comes into it too. Knowing those injuries are there, fellas have done well in training as they see that there might be an opportunity to get in.
‘We’re certainly not ruling out the possibility of having the lads, though.’
However, Cloughduv native Ring – who was coach to the John Considine-managed team which won Cork’s last minor All-Ireland in 2001 – is confident that, if one or both of Sheehan or Turnbull misses out, there are players there ready to step in.
‘Most of the games all year, we’ve played our panel,’ he says.
‘That’s what having a panel is all about. In Croke Park the last day, Ross Howell wasn’t able to take his place on the bench, he had a serious hand injury, and that meant that John Geary and Conor Desmond both came in from outside the 24 and that was good, it gave a bounce to the thing too.
‘Every teams gets injuries and knocks. We don’t know what’s happening in Galway but maybe they have them too, it’s about how you cope with it and get on with it.
‘If the lads aren’t available, we’ll make sure that we have alternative arrangements made.’
Galway have beaten Clare and Kilkenny to reach the final, beginning their campaign in late July, by which stage Cork had clashed with Waterford, Tipperary twice and Clare in Munster. There may be some advantage in that Cork beat Galway in the All-Ireland U17 semi-final, with players from both on show this week, but Ring is wary of the Tribesmen’s threat.
‘We’ve played them in a few challenge games,’ he says, ‘but there’s always a bit of a shadow-boxing.
‘There were players missing on both sides, that tends to be the nature of these challenge matches. It was beneficial, up to a point.
‘Galway know us very well, they always have the advantage of seeing teams four or five times before they play them. We only get to see them in the All-Ireland quarter-final and semi-final so you don’t have the same level of access.
‘From our perspective, we would know that the level of performance against Dublin wouldn’t be good enough, if we had been playing Galway that day we wouldn’t have won.’