Dáire O'Leary and Ben O'Connor in as Cork U20s make six changes

Rebels face Tipperary in Munster semi-final in Thurles
Dáire O'Leary and Ben O'Connor in as Cork U20s make six changes

Daire O'Leary in action in the Allianz HL game between Cork and Galway at Páirc Uí Chaoimh last month. Picture: Eóin Noonan/Sportsfile

Dáire O’Leary and Ben O’Connor are included among six changes on the Cork team for tomorrow night’s oneills.com Munster U20HC semi-final against Tipperary at FBD Semple Stadium (7.30pm).

Following last week’s loss to Limerick at Páirc Uí Rinn which meant that Cork finished second in Group 2, necessitating a trip to Thurles, the Rebels management have reconfigured the side.

O’Leary has featured for the senior side in the Allianz Hurling League this year but injury ruled him out of the Munster SHC opener against Limerick – had he featured in that game, he would be ineligible for the U20s, as Ciarán Joyce is.

He replaces Kevin Lyons at full-back while O’Connor, who starred at centre-back in last year’s All-Ireland minor win but had been unavailable due to Ireland U20 rugby involvement, comes into the side at right half-back with Eoin Downey dropping to the corner and Darragh O’Sullivan losing out.

Further changes see Cathal McCarthy at midfield for Michael Mullins while there are three new men in the attack – Seán Walsh, Colin Walsh and Daniel Hogan are in as Denis McSweeney, Diarmuid Healy and Eoin O’Leary miss out.

Cork’s Ben O’Connor tackles James Doherty of Clare in the Munster MHC game in Thurles in October 2020. Picture: Inpho/Bryan Keane
Cork’s Ben O’Connor tackles James Doherty of Clare in the Munster MHC game in Thurles in October 2020. Picture: Inpho/Bryan Keane

Tipperary beat Waterford and Clare to top Group 1, with Kyle Shelley scoring 1-10 for Brendan Cummins’ team in the victory over the Déise last week.

Had Cork beaten Limerick, they would have hosted Waterford but, speaking after that defeat, O’Mahony hoped that the trip to Tipp wouldn’t be an impediment.

“All Cork people know that we never mind going to Thurles,” he said.

“It’s a fantastic pitch and we’re not looking for excuses. We watched Tipperary and Waterford last week, they’re two good teams and there’s not much between them, so I don’t think there’s going to be any major difference in the difficulty.

“We’ve no problem going to Tipperary – our job now is to concentrate on ourselves and focus on the problems that we saw on the field on Wednesday night and work on getting them right for the next match.”

CORK (U20H v Tipperary): B Saunderson (Midleton); E Downey (Glen Rovers), D O’Leary (Watergrasshill), C Smyth (Midleton); B O’Connor (St Finbarr’s), E Twomey (St Finbarr’s), L Horgan (Glen Rovers); B O’Sullivan (Kanturk), C McCarthy (Sarsfields); B Keating (Ballincollig), S Walsh (Carrigtwohill), B Cunningham (St Finbarr’s); C Walsh (Kanturk), D Hogan (Sarsfields), J Cahalane (St Finbarr’s). Subs: C Wilson (Newcestown), D O’Sullivan (Ballinhassig), C Geary (Youghal), E Cullinane (Ballinhassig), D Flynn (Ballygiblin), D Healy (Lisgoold), M Howell (Douglas), D McSweeney (Blarney), E O’Leary (Glen Rovers).

Additional panel members: P O’Sullivan (Fr O’Neills), P Cummins (St Colman’s), S Daly (Randal Óg), J Dwyer (Ballincollig), L Elliott (Sarsfields), C Grainger (Ballinhassig), J Leahy (Dungourney), K Lyons (Ballygarvan), D Cremin (Midleton), W Buckley (St Finbarr’s), T O’Connell (Ballincollig), M Mullins (Whitechurch), E Kirby (Blarney), C Tobin (Bride Rovers).

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