Cork hurlers sweating on Lehane's fitness for Déise tie

Cork hurlers sweating on Lehane's fitness for Déise tie
Tipperary's Ronan Maher and Conor Lehane of Cork. Picture: INPHO/Cathal Noonan

CONOR LEHANE is a doubtful starter for Cork’s Munster SHC semi-final with Waterford next Sunday with manager Kieran Kingston rating his chances of participation at 50/50 at best.

Lehane picked up a knock in training and didn’t train last week but Kingston is still hopeful that he will be ready.

“Conor is doubtful, I would say that it’s 50/50 but we’d be hopeful and he will be given every chance.

“We’ll look at him tonight (last night) and it will be later in the week before a final decision is taken.’’ 

The absence of the Midleton man would be a severe blow to Cork’s hopes of reaching the final, all the more so after his outstanding display in the semi-final win over Tipperary when he was voted man of the match after scoring 10 points.

There are a number of options open to the management if he is not ready.

Bill Cooper could move back into the half-forward line from the midfield berth he occupied against Tipperary with Daniel Kearney replacing him in the number eight jersey.

The same scenario could apply where Darragh Fitzgibbon is concerned after he excelled on his debut in Thurles.

Another strong option would be to bring Mikey Cahalane in as a direct replacement after his strong impact in Thurles when he secured the all-important goal after coming in for Luke Meade.

Lehane’s clubmate, Luke O’Farrell might also be considered.

Other than the concern surrounding Lehane’s availability, the expectation is that the status quo will prevail and that the starting team will be unchanged.

Meanwhile, County Board Chairman, Ger Lane revealed last night that the two All -Ireland hurling quarter-finals are almost certain to be played in the new Pairc Ui Chaoimh.

The County Board have had to defer the opening of the new stadium and the handover date is now expected to be July 7th.

The All-Ireland hurling quarter-finals are scheduled for Sunday, July 23.

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