Cork U20s name a strong team for John Kerins Cup final with Lilywhites

Cork U20s name a strong team for John Kerins Cup final with Lilywhites
Blake Murphy is the Cork U20 captain for the John Kerins Cup final. Picture: David Fitzgerald/Sportsfile

SATURDAY, John Kerins Cup final: Cork v Kildare, John Lockes Park, Callan, 1pm.

CORK take another important step in their Munster U20 championship preparations when they travel to an unlikely Kilkenny venue to play a football final.

Kildare provide the opposition in what is sure to be a highly competitive outing in which the Cork management, again led by Keith Ricken, will learn more about what is at their disposal.

It’s all part of gearing up for the first provincial title defence against the winners of the Clare-Waterford tie in Milltown-Malbay on February 19.

Cork will be away a week later with Kerry also on their travels in the other semi-final against Tipperary or Limerick who meet at the Gaelic Grounds.

Cork defeated Kerry by 1-19 to 3-12 in Tralee in their opening group game before clinching a place in the final with a 1-15 to 1-9 victory over Galway in Mallow. Ricken and company can call on a number of survivors from last season’s memorable campaign, which concluded with that never-to-be-forgotten All-Ireland final win over Dublin.

Goalkeeper Josh O’Keeffe (Newmarket), defender Diarmuid Phelan (Aghada), midfielder Daniel O’Connell (Kanturk) and forwards Blake Murphy (St Vincent’s), Jack Murphy (Éire Óg) and Fionn Herlihy (Dohenys) played against Kerry.

Jack Murphy featured against Kerry but isn't available for the clash against Kildare. 
Jack Murphy featured against Kerry but isn't available for the clash against Kildare. 

Murphy is the team captain and chipped in with a couple of points with Herlihy scoring 0-3 and Conor Russell (Douglas) contributing 0-5, three frees.

Nemo's Mark Cronin was tied up with club commitments until now but is back for this week's tie.

Substitute Darragh Hayes (Carbery Rangers) created a favourable impression with his 1-2 and was named at full-forward for the next game against Galway.

That team included Éanna O’Hanlon (Kilshannig) at midfield, another survivor from the class of 2019, and the younger brother of senior player, Killian.

Éanna contributed 1-4, including a goal from a penalty and three frees, in a side showing a dozen changes. However, he picked up an injury for CIT this week which rules him out.

Murphy was unstoppable in the right corner, kicking five points from play and another from a free as Gerry O’Sullivan (Boherbue), who was also involved last year, and Brian Hayes (St Finbarr’s) got in on the scoring act, too.

The captain was joined by full-back Daniel O’Mahony (Knocknagree) and centre-forward Aodhán Ó Luasa (Naomh Abán) as the three survivors from the first game.

Minors Conor Corbett (Clyda Rovers) and Jack Lawton (Argideen Rangers) played against Kerry.

CORK (v Kildare):

1. Josh O'Keeffe (Newmarket); 

2. Colm O'Shea (Kilshannig), 3. Daniel O'Mahony (Knocknagree), 4. Diarmaid Phelan (Aghada) 

5. Ciaran O'Sullivan (Urhan), 6. Sean Desmond (Clondrohid), 7. Brian Lynch (Douglas) 

8. Brian Hayes (St Finbarr’s), 9. Jack Lawton (Argideen Rangers) 

10. Daniel O'Connell (Kanturk), 11. Mark Cronin (Nemo Rangers), 12. Fionn Herlihy (Doheny’s) 

13. Kieran Twomey (Kilshannig), 14. Blake Murphy (St Vincent’s, c), 15. Conor Russell (Douglas)

SUBS: 

16. Dylan Foley (Éire Óg) 17. Eoghan Lehane (Canovee) 18. Conor Smith (Aghabollogue) 19. Aodhán Ó Luasa (Naomh Aban) 20. Gerry O'Sullivan (Boherbue) 21. Darragh Hayes (Carbery Rangers) 22. Ciaran Nyhan (Ballinascarthy) 23. Darragh Cashman (Millstreet) 24. Dylan Connolly (Glanworth) 25. Elliot Connolly (O'Donovan Rossa) 26. Bill Curtin (Kilshannig) 27. Conor Crowley (Glanmire) 28. Mark Lenihan (Buttevant) 29. Ian Jennings (Kilmacabea) 30. Darragh Holland (Argideen Rangers)

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