THE three-in-a-row-seeking Imokilly squad will be minus one-third of the team that started in last season’s county final when they renew acquaintances with Midleton on Sunday night at Carrigtwohill, 7pm.
Colm Spillane, Ciaran O’Brien and Niall O’Leary will be absent in defence, Spillane and O’Brien through injury while O’Leary is now hurling with UCC who take on Bishopstown at Ballinlough, also on Sunday.
Paudie O’Sullivan and Barry Lawton will also be absentees through injury in the East Cork team’s attack.
However, given the depth of their resources, the holders will still field very strongly with Cork U20 player Shane O’Regan expected to figure.
He bounced back from the disappointment of last Saturday with a return of 3-5 for Watergrasshill against Aghada during the week in the Abernethy Cup.
Midleton, meanwhile, have a full complement to choose from for a game that is generating huge interest.
They were minus key players in their victory over Ballymartle in round two but all are available again.
Selector Ger Fitzgerald is looking forward to the game.
“We are, we feel that we didn’t play to our full potential in the final last season, but it will be a very difficult match again. They are a very good team, they have proved that and even if they are going to be without some players they have a very strong squad and whatever replacements they have will fit in seamlessly.
“But we will be in good shape ourselves and everybody is looking forward to it.”
Meanwhile, Douglas have injury concerns surrounding Alan Cadogan and Nathan Walsh for their big clash with Sarsfield’s on Saturday night and it will be later in the week before a final decision on their fitness is made.
Sarsfields will have to find a replacement for centre-back Paul Leopold who is on the road to recovery after an operation in the US during the Summer. Gary Grey will be one of those in contention as his replacement.