Cork U20 hurlers have a panel loaded with top talent

Cork U20 hurlers have a panel loaded with top talent
Sean O'Leary Hayes and James Keating. Picture: Eóin Noonan/Sportsfile

THE Cork U20 management have named a very strong panel for next Wednesday's Bord Gais Energy Munster quarter-final against Limerick at Páirc Uí Rinn.

James Keating from Kildorrery will captain the team while Na Piarsaigh's Craig Hanifin has been picked as vice-captain of a squad that is largely drawn from the minors who made the 2017 All-Ireland. 

Cork senior Robert Downey, who was a forward back then but now operates in the half-back line, lethal forwards Brian Turnbull and Evan Sheehan, Midleton's Sean O'Leary Hayes, keeper Ger Collins, dynamic playmaker Daire Connery and Bride Rovers twins Brian and Eoin Roche are among the big names in the group.

Shane Barrett, Christians, battlesMidleton's Sam Quirke. Picture: INPHO/Bryan Keane
Shane Barrett, Christians, battlesMidleton's Sam Quirke. Picture: INPHO/Bryan Keane

Blarney's Shane Barrett and Padraig Power step up from last year's minors, along with their club mate Declan Hanlon, while it'll be interesting to see how Courcey Rovers' Sean Twomey fares. The powerful attacker has been on song lately in challenge matches.

Evan Cooke, Ballincollig, pursues Sean Twomey, Courcey Rovers. Picture: Jim Coughlan
Evan Cooke, Ballincollig, pursues Sean Twomey, Courcey Rovers. Picture: Jim Coughlan

The one concern is that Fr O'Neill's Ger Millerick is carrying an injury that is set to look him out for the coming weeks.

Tommy O'Connell (Midleton) and Colin O'Brien, from Liscarroll/Churchtown who played in Mary I's Fitzgibbon Cup final loss to UCC earlier this year, excelled for the Cork U17s in landing the 2017 All-Ireland. Tenacious corner-back Conor O'Callaghan from Dromtarrife was among a number of hurlers that featured at U17 and minor, then still U18, two seasons ago.

Conor Molloy is challenged by Conor O'Callaghan. Picture: Sam Barnes/Sportsfile
Conor Molloy is challenged by Conor O'Callaghan. Picture: Sam Barnes/Sportsfile

The Rebels will be hoping to go one better than last year's U21 crop, defeated by Tipp in the All-Ireland final in the last year before the grade dropped an age, but need to reach the provincial final to make the All-Ireland series.

If the Denis Ring managed group can negotiate the Limerick hurdle they'll host Clare a week later for a place in the Munster decider. Waterford and Tipp are on the other side of the draw.

With Galway now in Leinster the Munster champions will take on the Leinster runners-up in the last four.

CORK PANEL:

Ger Collins (Ballinhassig) 

Ger Collins saves a shot. Picture: INPHO/Ken Sutton
Ger Collins saves a shot. Picture: INPHO/Ken Sutton

Jamie Copps (Ballyhea) 

Alan Connolly (Blackrock) 

Declan Hanlon (Blarney)

Padraig Power (Blarney) 

Shane Barrett (Blarney) 

Brian Roche (Bride Rovers) 

Eoin Roche (Bride Rovers) 

Barry Murphy (Castlelyons) 

Sean Twomey (Courcey Rovers)

Brian Turnbull (Douglas) 

Conor O’Callaghan (Dromtarrife) 

Adam Creed (Fermoy) 

Ger Millerick (Fr O’Neill's)

Rob Downey (Glen Rovers) 

Simon Kenefick (Glen Rovers)

Ryan Walsh (Kanturk)

Kanturk's Ryan Walsh racing away from Ballinhassig's Sean McCarthy. Picture Eddie O'Hare
Kanturk's Ryan Walsh racing away from Ballinhassig's Sean McCarthy. Picture Eddie O'Hare

Ian Butler (Kildorrery)

James Keating (Kildorrery, captain)

Eoin Carey (Kilworth)

Colin O’Brien (Liscarroll/Churchtown) 

Liam O’Shea (Lisgoold) 

Ronan Sheehan (Mallow) 

Sean O’Leary Hayes (Midleton)

Tommy O’Connell (Midleton)

Craig Hanifin (Na Piarsaigh, vice-captain) 

Daire Connery (Na Piarsaigh) 

Daire Connery in action for Gaelcholáiste Mhuire AG. Picture: Larry Cummins
Daire Connery in action for Gaelcholáiste Mhuire AG. Picture: Larry Cummins

Evan Sheehan (Na Piarsaigh) 

Cormac O’Brien (Newtownshandrum)

Shane O’Regan (Watergrasshill) 

Injured: Conor Power (Blarney), Diarmuid Linehan (Ballyhooly).

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