Cork hurling crew head to Croke Park on Saturday in search of glory

Cork hurling crew head to Croke Park on Saturday in search of glory
Former Cork and Midleton hurler Killian Burke now plays for London. Picture: Seb Daly/Sportsfile

AWAY from the excitement of the Munster Championships, there is plenty of Cork interest in Croke Park tomorrow, with Rebel natives playing their part in hurling sides from England seeking glory in the Christy Ring Cup, Nicky Rackard Cup, and Lory Meagher Cup.

London come up against Kildare in their first Christy Ring Cup Final appearance since their 2012 success. To date in the campaign, Mallow native Aaron Sheehan has been a bit of a wrecking ball, chalking up a massive 1-37. And former Cork hurler Killian Burke is a key operator in defence.

From the semi-final, Sheehan delivered 0-14 after London ran out convincing winners against Wicklow. Opponents Kildare hope to repeat the triumph of 2014 after they proved too strong for Derry in a closely contested semi.

London will be banking on another big display from their talisman Sheehan. On home soil, dual player Sheehan netted the match winner for Mallow in their Premier IFC victory over St Michael's last season.

Mallow's Aaron Sheehan is tackled by Valley Rovers' Eoghan Delaney. Picture: Eddie O'Hare
Mallow's Aaron Sheehan is tackled by Valley Rovers' Eoghan Delaney. Picture: Eddie O'Hare

Burke was on the Cork panel that defeated Clare to win the 2017 Munster SHC. The former Midleton stalwart won a county SHC medal in 2013 following a victory against Sarsfields.

Warwickshire return to Croke Park for the second consecutive year when they face Donegal in the Nicky Rickard Cup final. Twelve months ago, Warwickshire collected the Lory Meagher Cup for the second time and now go in search of a Rackard Cup won by Donegal in 2013.

It's been a fruitful few seasons for Warwickshire, adding a League title earlier in the spring and they hold a 16 game unbeaten run to their credit. It is a well-constructed unit, experienced operators Micheál O’Regan (Freemount) and John Collins (Douglas) are part of the regular starting side.

Former Douglas dual player John Collins, right. Picture: Denis Boyle
Former Douglas dual player John Collins, right. Picture: Denis Boyle

O’Reganexpects a searching examination from the Ulster representatives.

“I think we have a great chance against Donegal but we will need to be at our best as both of the previous wins were hard fought and close contests,” he said.

Meanwhile, Lancashire tackle Sligo in the Lory Meagher Cup in their search for a first-time victory.

Contributing handsomely to the Lancashire cause is ex-Bandon star Ronan Crowley, ever consistent, and registering massive tallies in the league earlier in the year. That form continued in the Cup. Crowley is no stranger to success, a key man in Bandon’s defeat of Fermoy in the 2016 Premier IHC to earn the West Cork side senior hurling status.

Bandon's Ronan Crowley shoots from Blackrock's Niall Cashman. Picture: Eddie O'Hare
Bandon's Ronan Crowley shoots from Blackrock's Niall Cashman. Picture: Eddie O'Hare

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