THE Cork minor hurlers are hoping star forwards Evan Sheehan and Brian Turnbull will be fit to start this Sunday’s minor final against Galway.
The Rebels are into their first decider at this level since 2007, but there are doubts surrounding the fitness of Munster final Man of the Match Sheehan and semi-final ace Turnbull, who destroyed Dublin in the semi.
Sheehan injured his knee on duty for Na Piarsaigh and missed the last trip to Croke Park, while Turnbull tweaked his hamstring with Douglas' seniors. The latter will certainly be expected to start but the northsider’s injury is more serious.
“We haven’t given up hope whatsoever,” said selector Liam Martin. “It’ll be a late call and we’ll be giving Evan every opportunity before naming the team.
“We’re hopeful he can get back to some level of fitness. He’s been a big part in our season, scoring that brilliant goal to draw the game up in Tipp and Man of the Match in the Munster final, and we’d love to have him.
“He’s shown his talent all the way up through the underage for Cork and Na Piarsaigh so it’d be great to see him out there on Sunday.” Whatever the starting line-up, Glen man Martin is confident the Rebels have the depth in their panel to deliver a big performance.
“Of our extended panel of 30, 15 of them were involved last year as well as this year and it’s the end of a two-year process. We saw the benefit in fellas like Liam O’Shea, Ger Mellerick and Craig Hanafin who pushed on from the edges of last year’s panel to blossoming this season.”
Martin, who has worked alongside manager Denis Ring for the past four seasons, explained the young Rebels aren’t letting any injury concerns detract from the build-up.
““If you can’t enjoy the preparation for an All-Ireland final you’re in the wrong business. We’ve said all year to the players to enjoy it, to embrace the challenge because if they go out with too much tension they won’t perform to the best of their abilities.
“Part of our role is to get them to go out and express themselves because they have the ability. We played Galway back in May and saw them in Páirc Uí Chaoimh in the quarter-final, then the semi-final and no doubt they’re a very good side. We’ve the height of respect for them. They’re management were in place two years ago as well when they won it against the odds.
“We’re confident our fellas will come with a big performance this Sunday but only time will tell if it’s enough to win.”