Niall O’Leary is handed his championship debut but Cadogan misses out again through injury

Niall O’Leary is handed his championship debut but Cadogan misses out again through injury
Picture: Eddie O'Hare

CASTLELYONS defender Niall O’Leary has been handed his debut for tomorrow’s Munster Championship showdown with Tipperary.

The rookie gets his chance due to a long-term injury to Colm Spillane, while Eoin Cadogan is picked at full-back and Damien Cahalane held in reserve. Former Cork captain Stephen McDonnell and Conor O’Sullivan are other corner-back options among the subs, with newcomers Robert Downey and Deccie Dalton also in the panel of 26.

O’Leary was a member of last year’s Munster-winning U21 unit and looked the part for UCC in the Fitzgibbon Cup, though he didn’t feature in the league. A former St Colman’s pupil, O’Leary was the lynchpin of the Imokilly rearguard when they won consecutive counties.

John Meyler and his selectors have, as expected, also handed Tim O’Mahony his first start. The Newtownshandrum native was given an extensive audition in the pivotal centre-back berth across the spring.

The Cork midfield and forward line is the same as it was last season, with Robbie O’Flynn on the bench despite showing some good form in recent challenge matches, while Alan Cadogan isn’t fit enough to be in the reckoning.

Aidan Walsh, Jack O’Connor and Cormac Murphy are among the subs would could be called on in the latter stages of the clash in Páirc Uí Chaoimh, which is expected to attract 30,000.

CORK (v Tipp): A Nash; S O’Donoghue, E Cadogan, N O’Leary; C Joyce, T O’Mahony, M Coleman; B Cooper, D Fitzgibbon; D Kearney, S Harnedy, L Meade; C Lehane, P Horgan, S Kingston.

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