U20 hurlers stick with the team beaten by Tipp for Cats clash

U20 hurlers stick with the team beaten by Tipp for Cats clash
Simon Kennefick could be a late call-up to the Cork 15 on Saturday. Picture: Eddie O'Hare

THE status quo prevails with the Cork U20 hurlers for tomorrow’s All-Ireland semi-final with Leinster champions Kilkenny at Portlaoise, 2pm.

Cork lost the Munster final by a point to Tipperary but despite that last-gasp loss, Denis Ring and his management team have retained the starting 15 from that game. Robert Downey was shifted to the forwards during that clash, with Simon Kennefick doing well as a half-time replacement for Liam O'Shea.

There is, however, one positional switch, Tommy O’Connell going from midfield into the half-forward line with Daire Connery now in the middle of the field with Ryan Walsh. Walsh moved to defence in Thurles when Downey was switched upfield. Ring and his selectors may still may some late alterations before throw-in.

On the Kilkenny team, the expectation is Adrian Mullen, who missed the Leinster final win over Wexford, will be back in the Cats attack.

He scored 0-4 from play against Limerick in the senior semi-final last weekend and is, obviously, going to be a key player for them.

Cork boss Denis Ring believes the shattering Munster final loss to Tipperary has been put to bed by his young players and they are ready for the big showdown with the county’s great rivals. 

“We had a recovery session, a review meeting and some video analysis after the Munster final and it’s all been very positive since. We were disappointed to lose on the night but it would have been a lot worse if we had been knocked out altogether.

“There was nothing in it really, they just got in for that late goal but we took a lot of positives from the game.

“We have no injury concerns, they are a great bunch of lads who have put in a great effort since and are ready now for this game.’’

Ring is expecting a huge challenge from Kilkenny.

“We have seen quite a lot of them since the start of the year. We played them in a challenge game and there was nothing much in it.

“They have good players like Adrian Mullen, Evan Shefflin and Eoin Cody but we have our own good lads and our job has been to have them ready and grasp this opportunity which we have to try and take."

CORK (v Kilkenny): Ger Collins (Ballinhassig); Conor O’Callaghan (Dromtarrife), James Keating (Kildorrery, c), Eoin Roche (Bride Rovers); Ger Millerick (Fr O’Neill's), Sean O’Leary Hayes (Midleton), Robert Downey (Glen Rovers); Ryan Walsh (Kanturk), Daire Connery ( Na Piarsaigh); Sean Twomey (Courcey Rovers), Craig Hanifin (Na Piarsaigh), Tommy O’Connell (Midleton); Brian Turnbull (Douglas), Shane O’Regan (Watergrasshill), Liam O’Shea (Lisgoold).

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