Cork management opt for Lehane against Kilkenny but keep Kingston in reserve

Cork management opt for Lehane against Kilkenny but keep Kingston in reserve
Conor Lehane scores a goal on his last visit to Croke Park. Picture: Brendan Moran/Sportsfile

CONOR Lehane is in from the start against Kilkenny this Sunday at Croke Park but Shane Kingston is held in reserve.

The deadly duo were used as impact subs in the Munster championship matches against Waterford and Clare, though both started last Sunday's hammering of Westmeath in the qualifiers.

John Meyler and his selectors have opted to go with Lehane at centre-forward for the All-Ireland quarter-final, with Kingston held back.

Daniel Kearney and Luke Meade didn't start in Mullingar but they are named in the wing-forward slots for their work-rate and passing, while Stephen McDonnell has been selected in defence.

The former Cork captain may be asked to man-mark Kilkenny ace TJ Reid, while rookie Niall O'Leary is wearing the number five geansaí at GAA headquarters. O'Leary was centre-back for Imokilly when they landed back-to-back county titles, so is capable of filling in a number of slots in defence.

Seán O'Donoghue and Waterford's Stephen Bennett. Picture: Eddie O'Hare
Seán O'Donoghue and Waterford's Stephen Bennett. Picture: Eddie O'Hare

Seán O'Donoghue was on the bench against Westmeath but is included this time and would seem the ideal fit to handle the pace of Cats' young gun Adrian Mullen.

Darragh Fitzgibbon returns to midfield alongside Bill Cooper after his stint at 11 last week against Westmeath Team captain Seamus Harnedy is named at left corner-forward with Patrick Horgan on the edge of the square and Alan Cadogan on the right. Most likely Cork will leave Horgan and Cadogan inside with Harnedy deeper to utilise his aerial prowess under puck-outs, especially with Kearney and Meade likely to sit either side of midfield.

Aidan Walsh has fully recovered from a finger injury and he is named on the subs bench as is Robbie O’Flynn who scored 1-4 against Westmeath.

Kingston is also held in reserve despite his five-point haul last weekend.

U20 star Rob Downey is also among the subs in what is a formidable back-up, including Damien Cahalane and Declan Dalton, who smashed in four goals for his club Fr O'Neill's earlier this week.

CORK (v Kilkenny): A Nash; S O’Donoghue, E Cadogan, S McDonnell; N O’Leary, M Ellis, M Coleman; B Cooper, D Fitzgibbon; D Kearney, C Lehane, L Meade; A Cadogan, P Horgan, S Harnedy.

Subs: P Collins, D Cahalane, D Browne, C Joyce, R Downey, T O’Mahony, R O’Flynn, A Walsh, S Kingston, J O’Connor, D Dalton.

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