Even with talent available Cork U21s face a tricky trip to Waterford

Even with talent available Cork U21s face a tricky trip to Waterford
Darragh Fitzgibbon battles David Reidy. Picture: Ray McManus/Sportsfile

SHANE Kingston, Mark Coleman and Darragh Fitzgibbon will spearhead the Cork U21s tonight away to Waterford, but Luke Meade won’t be available for the trip to Walsh Park.

Meade was named in the Rebel side that face the Déise at 7.30pm in a Munster semi-final, which is live on TG4, but misses out after breaking his finger in the Munster final win over Clare last Sunday. The promising Newcestown forward has had surgery in a bid to return for the All-Ireland semi-final at Croke Park on August 13.

It means, should Cork defeat Waterford, Meade will also be unavailable for the Munster U21 final away to Limerick on Wednesday, July 26.

Meade’s replacement for the number 12 position won’t be announced until before throw-in tonight.

Shane Kingston is tackled by David McInerney. Picture: Brendan Moran/Sportsfile
Shane Kingston is tackled by David McInerney. Picture: Brendan Moran/Sportsfile

However, Rebel U21 boss John Meyler, who doubles up as a senior selector, has a number of attacking options in the squad, including Newtown’s Tim O’Mahony, Na Piarsaigh’s Dayne Lee and Sars’ Jack O’Connor. Conor Cahalane, younger brother of Damian, is also on the panel.

Senior squad members Pa Collins, David Griffin, Robbie O’Flynn, Michael O’Halloran and Chris O’Leary will all start, against a Waterford team that includes Conor Gleeson, Shane Bennett and Patrick Curran.

The Rebels are favourites to reach a fourth provincial final this season, having already won the U17, minor and senior titles, but Waterford hurling is on a high after their seniors’ first win over Kilkenny since 1959.

Cork will need big performances from defenders Seán O’Donoghue and Eoghan Murphy, midfielder Paul Leopold and centre-forward Deccie Dalton, who was minor goalie two years ago but excelled outfield for Fr O’Neill’s in last year’s IHC triumph.

CORK U21s: P Collins (Ballinhassig); S O’Donoghue (Inniscarra), E Murphy (Sarsfields), D Griffin (Carrigaline); B Hennessy (St Finbarr’s), D Browne (Kanturk), M Coleman (Blarney); P Leopold (Sarsfields), D Fitzgibbon (Charleville); C O’Leary (Valley Rovers), D Dalton (Fr O’Neill’s), TBC; R O’Flynn (Erin’s Own), S Kingston (Douglas), M O’Halloran (Blackrock).

Subs: E Healy (Ballymartle), D Lowney (Clonakilty), C Cahalane (St Finbarr’s), A Myers (Sarsfields), J O’Connor (Sarsfields), T O’Mahony (Newtownshandrum), D O’Neill (Mayfield), S Smyth (Midleton), D Lee (Na Piarsaigh).

WATERFORD U21s: B Nolan; D Prendergast, C Gleeson, D Lyons; J Henley, C Prunty, C Lyons; A Molumby, C Roche; J Prendergast, C Curran, S Ryan; P Curran, S Bennett, P Hogan.

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