Cork hurling selectors go for broke against Limerick with four changes in a rebooted starting 15

Cork hurling selectors go for broke against Limerick with four changes in a rebooted starting 15
Mark Ellis is back on Sunday. Picture: Eóin Noonan/Sportsfile

THE Cork management have radically overhauled the half-back line after being well beaten by Tipperary last weekend.

Christopher Joyce and rookie centre-back Tim O'Mahony drop to the bench against Limerick on Sunday, with Mark Ellis brought back into the fold to wear the number six geansaí and Glen Rovers' Robert Downey handed his debut.

There are two further changes to the line-up to face the All-Ireland champions in the Gaelic Grounds (4pm) with Bill Cooper returning from the back injury that ruled him out at the last minute against Tipp and Aidan Walsh making his first start since 2015. 

Shane Kingston, who picked up a knock in the closing stages at Páirc Uí Chaoimh, and Robbie O'Flynn make way.

Deadly corner-forward Alan Cadogan also returns to the squad of 26 after being absent throughout 2018 with a knee injury and suffering a couple of setbacks in recent months.

Downey, a member of the minor team that lost the All-Ireland final two years ago to Galway, and Walsh were involved when the Rebels defeated Limerick back in February, which was their only loss en route to league glory. 

A towering figure and former Harty Cup ace with Christians, Downey was blooded earlier this year though would have been used more as a forward in Cork underage teams.

He did anchor the Glen side that pulled off an upset in the 2017 Rebel Óg Premier 1 minor hurling championship but he'll need assistance from the wing-forwards being pitched into such a tough match.

Ellis wasn't involved earlier this season because of injury or even in the panel last weekend but is the most experienced centre-back option and takes over from O'Mahony, who was given an extended trial run at the heart of the defence in the league but couldn't get a handle on Bubbles O'Dwyer last weekend. 

Having started the first three games last summer, the Millstreet club man missed out on the Waterford tie and the Munster final due to injury and was a sub in the All-Ireland semi-final. His size and strength will be essential against an aggressive and tall Limerick attack.

John Melyer and his selectors have decent attacking options in reserve: O'Flynn, Cadogan, Kingston, Jack O'Connor and Deccie Dalton.

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

Subs: P Collins, S McDonnell, D Cahalane, T O'Mahony, C Joyce, G Millerick, R O'Flynn, S Kingston, A Cadogan, D Dalton, J O'Connor.

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