Mark Coleman to captain Cork hurlers in 2022 with Conor Lehane recalled

Seán O'Donoghue has been picked as vice-captain of the Rebels by Kieran Kingston and his selectors
Mark Coleman to captain Cork hurlers in 2022 with Conor Lehane recalled

Mark Coleman of Cork in action against Tom Morrissey of Limerick. Picture: Daire Brennan/Sportsfile

MARK Coleman will captain the Cork hurlers next season, while Conor Lehane's county-winning form with Midleton has been rewarded with a recall to the panel.

Blarney club-man Coleman, who recently turned 24, succeeds Patrick Horgan as Rebel captain with Inniscarra's Seán O'Donoghue to serve as vice-captain.

Cork captains in recent seasons include Anthony Nash, Stephen McDonnell and Seamus Harnedy, with the latter pair leading the county to Munster titles in 2017 and '18 respectively. Horgan held the captaincy in 2020 and '21 and also served in the role in 2012, when he was picked as vice-captain but deputised for the injured Donal Óg Cusack.

Coleman has been one of Cork's most consistent hurlers since his breakthrough All-Star winning campaign of 2017. 

He won a county with Blarney and two Fitzgibbon Cups in UCC colours, often utilised at midfield or in the half-forwards. A playmaking centre-back with Cork for the past two seasons, some supporters would prefer if he was pushed further upfield with a more steely presence in defence.

It's a reflection of O'Donoghue's excellence for Cork last season that Kieran Kingston and his selectors have opted for the corner-back as Coleman's deputy. The 25-year-old was harshly overlooked for an All-Star.

LETHAL WEAPON

Lehane was in deadly form for Midleton this year, hitting 0-55 across six games, including 22 points from play, as the East Cork club captured a first county title since 2013.

He was also the Magpies' standout performer in their Munster semi-final loss to Kilmallock last weekend, clipping over 0-3 from play. 

Lehane was cut from the Cork squad last winter after some disappointing displays in 2019 and '20. Only 29, he showed plenty of his trademark dazzling touches as Midleton captain, but his work-rate and team-play also stood out.

There have already been changes to the hurling set-up for 2022, Eoin Cadogan, Bill Cooper and Colm Spillane, have retired, with Tadhg Deasy, Daniel Meaney and Bill Hennessy also gone.

Midleton duo Tommy O'Connell and Sam Quirke, Ethan Twomey (St Finbarr’s), Darragh Flynn from Ballygiblin and Castlemartyr's Ciarán Joyce have been included.

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