Cork v Antrim: Hurlers name team as Tim O'Mahony comes in for Patrick Horgan

Newtownshandrum man given starting berth in Cork attack ahead of former captain and all-time top-scorer
Cork v Antrim: Hurlers name team as Tim O'Mahony comes in for Patrick Horgan

Cork's Tim O'Mahony celebrates with Patrick Horgan after his goal against Dublin in last year's All-Ireland SHC quarter-final. Picture: Inpho/Ken Sutton

Tim O’Mahony comes in for Patrick Horgan in the only change to the Cork senior hurling side for Saturday’s All-Ireland SHC preliminary quarter-final against Antrim at Corrigan Park in Belfast (2pm).

The Newtownshandrum man was named to start at right half-back in Cork’s second-last Munster round-robin game against Waterford but wasn’t fit enough to play the whole game. He replaced Horgan early in the second half of that victory and the switch was repeated in the win over Tipperary three weeks ago that secured Cork’s qualification.

It is the first time since 2010 – coincidentally, a quarter-final against Antrim – that Horgan has been available for selection for a championship match without being chosen to start. The only other alteration to the panel from the Tipp clash is the return of Mark Keane as a sub, instead of Eoin Downey, who is sitting the Leaving Certificate.

Cork manager Kieran Kingston was grateful for the opportunity to pick from almost a full squad.

“Thank God, we’re in a good place injury-wise, touch wood,” he says.

Dáire O’Leary has resumed full training this week, after being out for six weeks. 

"He’s back with us and has had a couple of nights of full training, which is good, but this weekend is coming too soon.

“Other than that, we’re picking from a full complement of players.” 

Dáire O'Leary. Picture: INPHO/Lorraine O'Sullivan
Dáire O'Leary. Picture: INPHO/Lorraine O'Sullivan

The competition for places should ensure that there is no complacency from the Rebels, who are overwhelming favourites to advance.

“First of all, we’ve good competition, which is a benefit of having a full squad to pick from,” Kingston says.

“We can see that every night in training and there are some good lads coming through from the U20s over the last couple of years.

GAP

“It takes young guys different lengths of time to bridge the gap between U20 and senior, because that gap is huge. Some bridge it quicker than others, but the important thing is that we do help players to bridge it and develop. So we do have good competition and that’s improving all the time.

“The other side of it is that, obviously, we’re under no illusions that Antrim are going to be on a high, coming off the back of the Joe McDonagh Cup win. We know that this is a big game for them and, as far as we’re concerned, there’s no complacency whatsoever.

“We know that we need to back up our last two performances. It’s a championship game, it’s a knockout game, it’s in a pitch where Antrim have had a lot of success over the last number of years against top teams, league and championship.

“We will certainly be taking nothing for granted and giving this game the respect that it deserves, the same as we would with any team we’d be meeting, particularly on a home pitch when you have to travel so far.” 

CORK (Hurling v Antrim): 

Patrick Collins (Ballinhassig); 

Damien Cahalane (St Finbarr’s), Robert Downey (Glen Rovers), Seán O’Donoghue (Inniscarra); 

Niall O’Leary (Castlelyons), Ciarán Joyce (Castlemartyr), Mark Coleman (Blarney); 

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

Robbie O’Flynn (Erin’s Own), Séamus Harnedy (St Ita’s), Shane Kingston (Douglas); 

Tim O’Mahony (Newtownshandrum), Alan Connolly (Blackrock), Conor Lehane (Midleton). 

Subs: Ger Collins (Ballinhassig), Seán O’Leary Hayes (Midleton), Ger Millerick (Fr O’Neills), Mark Keane (Ballygiblin), Tommy O’Connell (Midleton), Conor Cahalane (St Finbarr’s), Brian Roche (Bride Rovers), Shane Barrett (Blarney), Patrick Horgan (Glen Rovers), Jack O’Connor (Sarsfields), Alan Cadogan (Douglas).

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