Seán O’Leary Hayes and Jack O’Connor start for Cork hurlers in Westmeath

Seán O’Leary Hayes and Jack O’Connor start for Cork hurlers in Westmeath

Cork’s Sean O’Leary-Hayes tussles with Kilkenny’s Evan Shefflin and Conor Heary during the Bord Gais Energy All-Ireland U20 hurling semi-final. Picture: Eddie O’Hare

THE Cork hurlers have handed opportunities to U20 graduate Seán O'Leary Hayes and Sars corner-forward Jack O'Connor for Sunday's league game away to Westmeath.

Kieran Kingston and his selectors have made four changes to the starting 15 that defeated Tipperary at Páirc Uí Chaoimh for their third outing of the campaign. 

O'Leary Hayes and O'Connor come in for Seán O'Donoghue (injured) and Alan Cadogan, while the more experienced Eoin Cadogan and Conor Lehane start ahead of Robert Downey and Luke Meade. It's Cadogan's first game of the league, after picking up a knock.

Eoin Cadogan breaking past Martin Hennesy, Dongourney. Picture: Dan Linehan
Eoin Cadogan breaking past Martin Hennesy, Dongourney. Picture: Dan Linehan

Downey, along with Mark Coleman and Darragh Fitzgibbon who were introduced in the first half, excelled against the Premier but are rested after two matches for the Fitzgibbon Cup-winning UCC team in the past week. Darragh Fitzgibbon will out for a few weeks after a late injury in the victory over IT Carlow on Wednesday.

Robbie O'Flynn was also involved with the College as they landed a record 42nd Fitzgibbon title but retains his wing-forward spot having shot 1-3 against Tipp.

Patrick Collins is in between the posts again after an impressive display in the last round, while his younger brother Ger is wearing number 16, which gives Anthony Nash the day off.

Also on the panel are St Finbarr's duo Conor Cahalane and Billy Hennessy, who were both in UCC's squad, and Bandon attacker Michael Cahalane (below), who was out last summer through injury. 

The likes of Seán Twomey (Courcey Rovers) and Douglas' Brian Turnbull will be keen to get some game-time as well, while the management might get the chance to give Chris Joyce a run off the bench as he continues to return from a cruciate injury.

Jack O'Connor has been on the Cork squad since last year and while still maturing - he turns 21 in 2020 - is a typically speedy and accurate Cork corner-forward.

Picture: Eddie O'Hare
Picture: Eddie O'Hare

O'Leary Hayes was a standout minor in 2017 and captained the U20s last season, as well as excelling for Midleton.

CORK (v Westmeath): Patrick Collins; Seán O'Leary Hayes, Eoin Cadogan, Colm Spillane; Tim O'Mahony, Bill Cooper, Damien Cahalane; Chris O'Leary, Aidan Walsh; Robbie O'Flynn, Seamus Harnedy, Conor Lehane; Declan Dalton, Patrick Horgan, Jack O'Connor.

Subs: Ger Collins, Niall O'Leary, Robert Downey, Chris Joyce, Billy Hennessy, Conor Cahalane, Seán Twomey, Michael O'Halloran, Michael Cahalane, Luke Meade, Brian Turnbull.

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