Cork footballers name exciting new-look team for league opener 

Cork footballers name exciting new-look team for league opener 

Brian Hartnett of Cork kicks past Sean O’Connell of Kerry during the 2020 McGrath Cup Group B match between Kerry and Cork at Austin Stack Park.

CORK hand debuts to four members of the victorious All-Ireland U20 team for the opening Division 3 league game against Offaly at Páirc Uí Chaoimh on Saturday at 6pm.

They are left corner-back Paul Ring (Aghabullogue), right half-forward Brian Hartnett (Douglas) and the inside pair of Damien Gore (Kilmacabea) and Cathail O’Mahony (Mitchelstown).

Coach Ronan McCarthy has also some new faces on the bench, including reserve keeper Joe Creedon (Iveleary), defender Sean Meehan (Kiskeam) and forwards Ryan Harkin (Mallow) and Colm O’Callaghan (Éire Óg).

There’s a whole host of regulars sitting this one out for a variety of reasons, players like James Loughrey (Mallow), Paul Kerrigan (Nemo Rangers), Luke Connolly (do), Mark Collins (Castlehaven), Kevin aO’Driscoll (Tadhg MacCarthaighs), Kevin Flahive (Douglas), Stephen Cronin (Nemo Rangers) and Eoghan McSweeney (Knocknagree).

In all there are just five survivors from the side which played Roscommon in the final game in the Super 8s last summer.

They are keeper Micheál Aodh Martin (Nemo), Sean White (Clonakilty), captain Ian Maguire (St Finbarr’s), Killian O’Hanlon (Kilshannig) and Ruairí Deane (Bantry Blues).

The selection is interesting for the placing of Sean Powter (Douglas) at right corner-back, Sam Ryan (St Finbarr’s) at full-back and Cork certainly won’t lack height around the middle third.

As well as Maguire and O’Hanlon at midfield Cork have Hartnett, standing 6' 4", and the equally imposing Deane in the wing-forward roles.

The returning Ciarán Sheehan (Éire Óg) is pencilled in at full-forward, flanked by Gore and O’Mahony, who helped Cork reach the McGrath Cup final, where they lost to Limerick.

Gore helped himself to a hat-trick in the 6-19 to 2-9 win over Kerry, when O’Mahony contributed 1-4.

CORK: MA Martin (Nemo Rangers); S Powter (Douglas), S Ryan (St Finbarr’s), P Ring (Aghabullogue); K Crowley (Millstreet), L O’Donovan (Clonakilty), M Taylor (Mallow); I Maguire (St Finbarr’s), captain, K O’Hanlon (Kilshannig); B Hartnett (Douglas), S White (Clonakilty), R Deane (Bantry Blues); D Gore (Kilmacabe), C Sheehan (Éire Óg), C O’Mahony (Mitchelstown).

Subs: J Creedon (Iveleary), P Murphy (Bandon), T Corkery (Cill na Martra), C Kiely (Ballincollig), S Meehan (Kiskeam), T Clancy (Clonakilty), C O’Callaghan (Éire Óg), R Harkin (Mallow), J O’Rourke (Carbery Rangers), M Hurley (Castlehaven), S Sherlock (St Finbarr’s).

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