Cork have named 13 of the side that began the Munster final for Saturday night’s Bord Gáis Energy 2020 All-Ireland U20 hurling final against Dublin in Nowlan Park (7.15pm).
It’s the end of a long campaign for Cork, who first convened under manager Pat Ryan and his backroom team at the tail-end of 2019 but had to wait until October of last year for their first championship outing, against Kerry.
After that, December brought Munster semi-final and final wins over Limerick and Tipperary respectively, the latter on December 23. At the time, it was expected that the All-Ireland final against Leinster champions Dublin or Leinster would take place in mid-January but the imposition of another lockdown forced another wait and it wasn’t until a week and a half ago that the Dubs booked their place in the decider with victory over the Tribesmen.
The two switches see Seán Twomey of Courcey Rovers and Blarney’s Pádraig Power come into the side, replacing Eoin Carey and Brian Hayes.
Twomey is named at left half-forward, a straight swap with Hayes, while Darragh Flynn drops back from centre-forward to midfield – where Carey played against Tipp – to partner Tommy O’Connell and Shane Barrett moves from number 15 to 11. Power now joins Alan Connolly and Colin O’Brien in the full-forward line.
There are a total of eight in the squad who featured in the 2019 All-Ireland final loss to Tipperary: Conor O’Callaghan, Eoin Roche, Tommy O’Connell, Twomey, Brian Roche, Daire Connery, Shane O’Regan and Power. In addition, nine of the starting 15 – goalkeeper Eoin Davis, the Roche twins, O’Callaghan, Aaron Walsh Barry, Connery, Twomey, O’Connell and Colin O’Brien – featured when Cork overcame Dublin in the final of the one-off U17 All-Ireland competition, while Shane O'Regan came on that day.
Due to matchday restrictions, Cork can only name a panel of 24 for the game, but others who are part of the squad include Liam Ryan, Owen McCarthy (Inniscarra), Darragh Moran (Castlemartyr), Cillian O' Donovan (Douglas), Kevin Moynihan (Na Piarsaigh), Diarmuid Kearney (Cobh), Ethan Twomey (St Finbarr’s), Daniel Hogan (Sarsfields), Luke Horgan (Glen Rovers), Declan Hanlon (Blarney) and Robbie Cotter (Blackrock).
E Davis (St Catherine’s); C O’Callaghan (Dromtarriffe), E Roche (Bride Rovers), A Walsh Barry (Carrigtwohill); D Connery (Na Piarsaigh), C Joyce (Castlemartyr), D O’Leary (Watergrasshill); D Flynn (Ballygiblin), T O’Connell (Midleton); B Roche (Bride Rovers), S Barrett (Blarney), S Twomey (Courcey Rovers); P Power (Blarney), A Connolly (Blackrock), C O’Brien (Liscarroll-Churchtown Gaels).
D Maher (Douglas), F Denny (Ballincollig), C O’Brien (Newtownshandrum), B O’Sullivan (Kanturk), S Quirke (Midleton), E Carey (Kilworth), B Hayes (St Finbarr’s), S O’Regan (Watergrasshill), J Cahalane (St Finbarr’s).