Cork hurlers make three changes for crucial clash with Clare

Alan Cadogan, Robert Downey and Luke Meade come in for Conor Cahalane, Eoin Cadogan and Damien Cahalane
Cork hurlers make three changes for crucial clash with Clare

Robert Downey of Cork in action against Diarmuid Ryan of Clare. Picture: Brendan Moran/Sportsfile

THE CORK hurlers have been forced to shake up their defence for Saturday's showdown with Clare in the LIT Gaelic Grounds, live on Sky Sports, 4.30pm.

Eoin Cadogan, injured, and Damien Cahalane, appendix, are unavailable from the rearguard that impressed against Limerick in the Munster semi-final loss at the start of July, which is a big blow to Kieran Kingston and his selectors. Cahalane's form had been outstanding since the start of the league and Cadogan completely shut down Tom Morrissey.

Robert Downey comes in at full-back and Ger Mellerick moves from midfield to wing-back. Luke Meade starts at midfield alongside Darragh Fitzgibbon, while Alan Cadogan lines out at corner-forward, with Conor Cahalane dropping to the bench.

Luke Meade of Cork gets away from Seadna Morey of Clare. Picture: Eóin Noonan/Sportsfile
Luke Meade of Cork gets away from Seadna Morey of Clare. Picture: Eóin Noonan/Sportsfile

Captain Patrick Horgan is named at 11, which puts him into direct conflict with Banner centre-back John Conlon, while Shane Kingston is picked at full-forward. 

Many supporters were hoping to see stars of the All-Ireland U20 victory Shane Barrett and Alan Connolly in from the off, but impact subs will be key in what will be a scorching hot afternoon. In Clare's defeat of Wexford last Saturday they got a rich return from the bench, especially Jack Browne, David McInerney and Mark Rodgers, while Gary Cooney thieved a late goal.

In their matches with Waterford, Tipp and Wexford, Brian Lohan's side started at a blistering pace, something Cork, without a game in three weeks, will be acutely aware of.

Pace isn't in short supply with the line-up Cork have opted for though.

Declan Dalton, who's had injury problems all year, doesn't feature in the Cork squad this time, with Colm Spillane wearing number 18 after an extended spell on the sidelines, while Tadhg Deasy and Seán Twomey are also on board in what's a huge game for Cork hurling.

CORK v Clare:

Patrick Collins (Ballinhassig); 

Niall O'Leary (Castlelyons), Robert Downey (Glen Rovers), Seán O'Donoghue (Inniscarra);

Tim O'Mahony (Newtownshandrum), Mark Coleman (Blarney), Ger Millerick (Fr O'Neill's);

Darragh Fitzgibbbon (Charleville), Luke Meade (Newcestown); 

Seamus Harnedy (St Ita's), Patrick Horgan (Glen Rovers, c), Robbie O'Flynn (Erin's Own); 

Alan Cadogan (Douglas), Shane Kingston (Douglas), Jack O'Connors (Sarsfields).

Subs: Ger Collins (Ballinhassig), Sean O'Leary Hayes (Midleton), Colm Spillane (Castlelyons), Niall Cashman (Blackrock), Billy Hennessy (St Finbarr's), Bill Cooper (Youghal), Conor Cahalane (St Finbarr's), Seán Twomey (Courcey Rovers), Shane Barrett (Blarney), Alan Connolly (Blackrock), Tadhg Deasy (Blackrock). 

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