Cork hurlers shake it up for criticial Dublin clash with five changes 

Cork hurlers shake it up for criticial Dublin clash with five changes 

Declan Dalton has appeared off the bench for the Cork hurlers but is handed his first championship start against Dublin. Picture: Brendan Moran/Sportsfile

CORK have made five changes to the starting 15 for Saturday's critical hurling qualifier against Dublin in Semple Stadium, 3.45pm.

In come Colm Spillane, Luke Meade, Robbie O'Flynn, Jack O'Connor and Declan Dalton, out go Christopher Joyce, Seán O'Leary Hayes, Daire Connery, Conor Lehane and Alan Cadogan from the side that started the Munster semi-final defeat to Waterford.

Kieran Kingston will be hoping his squad responds to the poor performance and huge criticism that came with it, in losing to the Déise. Aidan Walsh, Conor Cahalane and 19-year-old Shane Barrett, outstanding for Blarney and UCC in the club championships, are added to the bench.

Spillane and Walsh were both named to start last weekend before late withdrawals through injury, which handed debuts to O'Leary Hayes and Connery, while Robbie O'Flynn was suspended. Eoin Cadogan and Darragh Fitzgibbon remain on the casualty list. 

Alan Cadogan isn't included against Dublin. Picture: Piaras Ó Mídheach/Sportsfile
Alan Cadogan isn't included against Dublin. Picture: Piaras Ó Mídheach/Sportsfile

Alan Cadogan isn't included on the bench, and neither is fellow Douglas forward Brian Turnbull, who came on late against Waterford, though both have struggled with injuries previously. 

Wiry and skillful Jack O'Connor from Sars gets his chance from the start on the basis of his excellent form in Cork's challenge matches against Wexford and Galway last month, while Dalton was outstanding for Fr O'Neill's in reaching the PIHC decider this season. 

Jack O'Connor. Picture: Brendan Moran/Sportsfile
Jack O'Connor. Picture: Brendan Moran/Sportsfile

O'Flynn, the other addition to the Cork front six, has electric pace and has matured into a leader for his club Erin's Own, who were surprise Premier SHC semi-finalists recently.

Mark Coleman reverts to wing-back, having featured at midfield against Waterford, with Luke Meade handed the number nine geansaí. The Newcestown club man's work-rate and movement will be vital against the Dubs. 

Their inclusion means nine of Cork's team are 24 or under: O'Donoghue, Tim O'Mahony, Robert Downey, Coleman, Meade, Kingston, O'Flynn, O'Connor and Dalton. 

Traditionally Dublin are underdogs against Cork, but this is seen as a 50-50 tie, with the Dubs beating Laois in the opening round in Leinster before coming up just short against Kilkenny, having given them a 16-point headstart and battling back.

Eoin O'Donnell, Donal Burke, Chris Crummey and Cian Boland have looked the part in recent weeks and Mattie Kenny's squad will feel now is the time to make a major statement in the qualifiers. They dumped out Galway in the Leinster series in 2019, only to be caught by Laois in the next game.

CORK (v Dublin):

Anthony Nash;

Damien Cahalane, Colm Spillane, Seán O'Donoghue;

Tim O'Mahony, Robert Downey, Mark Coleman;

Bill Cooper, Luke Meade;

Seamus Harnedy, Shane Kingston, Robbie O'Flynn;

Jack O'Connor, Declan Dalton, Patrick Horgan (c).

Subs: Patrick Collins, Seán O'Leary Hayes, Niall O'Leary, Chris Joyce, Billy Hennessy, Stephen McDonnell, Daire Connery, Aidan Walsh, Conor Cahalane, Conor Lehane, Shane Barrett.

Injured Cork hurler Colm Spillane before the Waterford loss. Picture: Piaras Ó Mídheach/Sportsfile
Injured Cork hurler Colm Spillane before the Waterford loss. Picture: Piaras Ó Mídheach/Sportsfile

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