Cork and Kilkenny make changes for All-Ireland hurling semi-final in Croker

Shane Kingston drops out of the starting 15 with Shane Barrett promoted, while the Cats promote three from their bench
Cork and Kilkenny make changes for All-Ireland hurling semi-final in Croker

Shane Barrett fires a point off the bench for the Cork hurlers against Dublin last weekend. Picture: David Fitzgerald/Sportsfile

BLARNEY forward Shane Barrett has been handed his first start for Sunday's All-Ireland semi-final at Croke Park, 3.30pm

The U20 ace, an All-Ireland winner in that grade last month, comes into the line-up ahead of Shane Kingston. While the Douglas native struck for a goal in each of the Rebels' three games, he hasn't hit the heights that saw him All-Star nominated last winter.

Barrett scored off the bench in all his appearances to date, including a stunning goal in the defeat of Clare.

Kingston's power and pace means the Rebels have some potent options in reserve, including another U20, Alan Connolly, and the experienced Alan Cadogan. 

No doubt it was a tough call for manager Kieran Kingston and his selectors, who have included Niall O'Leary at corner-back despite his late withdrawal through injury in Thurles last weekend.

Cian O'Callaghan of Dublin in action against Shane Kingston. Picture: Piaras Ó Mídheach/Sportsfile
Cian O'Callaghan of Dublin in action against Shane Kingston. Picture: Piaras Ó Mídheach/Sportsfile

Eoin Cadogan and Damien Cahalane return to the bench, having started in the Munster championship loss to Limerick but being unavailable for the wins over Clare and Dublin. They'll offer cover in defence given the doubt about Niall O'Leary's participation.

Colm Spillane is also a sub, though Midleton's Sean O'Leary Hayes, a Munste minor medalist alongside Rob Downey and Ger Millerick in 2017, did well on his introduction against the Dubs.

Bill Cooper is marked absent through injury while Daire Connery and Seán Twomey miss out on the squad with Cahalane and Cadogan back.

Cork will need the likes of Seán O'Donoghue, Tim O'Mahony, Luke Meade, Seamus Harnedy and Jack O'Connor to maintain their electric form, while captain Patrick Horgan is seeking to record just his third victory at Croke Park in 11 appearances since 2008. 

CORK (v Kilkenny):

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 Fitzgibbon (Charleville), Luke Meade (Newcestown); 

Conor Cahalane (St Finbarr's), Seamus Harnedy (St Ita's), Robbie O'Flynn (Erin's Own); 

Shane Barrett (Blarney), Patrick Horgan (Glen Rovers, c), Jack O'Connor (Sarsfields).

Subs: Ger Collins (Ballinhassig), Sean O'Leary Hayes (Midleton), Colm Spillane (Castlelyons), Eoin Cadogan (Douglas), Niall Cashman (Blackrock), Damien Cahalane (St Finbarr's), Billy Hennessy (St Finbarr's), Shane Kingston (Douglas), Alan Cadogan (Douglas), Alan Connolly (Blackrock), Declan Dalton (Fr O'Neill's). 

Meanwhile, Kilkenny have made three changes to the team that won the Leinster title: Michael Carey, Conor Fogarty and Alan Murphy.

Carey, son of Cats legend DJ, comes in at wing-back for Conor Browne, a Fitzgibbon Cup winner with UCC, who is out with a hamstring injury. Richie Leahy drops off the panel, with Fogarty in midfield.

Alan Murphy is down to start in attack ahead of Martin Keoghan.

KILKENNY (v Cork): 

E Murphy; 

T Walsh, H Lawlor, P Deegan; 

J Maher, P Walsh, M Carey; 

C Fogarty, R Reid; 

A Mullen, J Donnelly, B Ryan; 

E Cody, TJ Reid, A Murphy.

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