The Cork hurling management have opted for an unchanged side for Saturday’s All-Ireland SHC quarter-final against Galway in FBD Semple Stadium (1.45pm).
After beating Antrim by 11 points in Corrigan Park in Belfast last Saturday, the Rebels have gone with the same 15. There had been slight injury worries regarding corner-back Seán O’Donoghue and Shane Kingston, both of whom had dead legs – Kingston was replaced in the first half against the Saffrons – but both have been passed fit.
It means that Patrick Horgan – who came on and scored two points after replacing Tim O’Mahony, who had been chosen ahead of him in attack – is again kept in reserve. Fifteen different clubs are represented in the starting line-up - this is something that had never happened in the championship before Cork's round-robin game against Clare in 2018.
There is one change among the substitutes, with the fit-again Dáire O’Leary replacing Seán O’Leary Hayes. The Watergrasshill man has not featured for the senior side since the Allianz Hurling League semi-final win over Kilkenny at the end of March, though he did play for the U20 side in their Munster semi-final defeat to Tipperary in late April.
It’s Cork’s first championship meeting with Galway since the 2015 quarter-final. That defeat proved to be Jimmy Barry-Murphy’s final match in charge of the Rebels and it was a fourth straight win for the Tribesmen over Cork, with 2008 the last Cork victory against Galway in the championship.
Cork will wear their white alternative jerseys, having lost the toss for colours. Going forward, the counties will now take it in turn to change against one another.
It’s the first time that Cork will have worn white against Galway in a senior hurling championship match. In the 1953 All-Ireland hurling final and 1956 football decider, provincial jerseys were used – blue for Cork and white for Galway – and then Cork wore white in beating the Connacht side in the 1973 All-Ireland football final.
In the 1975 All-Ireland hurling semi-final, Cork wore black shorts with their traditional red jerseys against Galway. For most of the next decade, Galway wore maroon shorts when the counties met.
In the 2017 All-Ireland minor hurling final, there was no change but two years later in the football decider, Galway wore white. Then, last year, the counties met in both the minor and U20 hurling finals – Galway changed in the minor and Cork in the U20, the Rebels winning both.
The counties have met at Páirc Uí Chaoimh in each of the past two league campaigns. Last year, a late fightback from Henry Shefflin's Galway side earned them a 3-35 to 2-23 win. In March of this year, Cork triumphed by 1-26 to 0-23.
The Cork-Galway game is followed by the other quarter-final between Clare and Wexford, which begins at 3.45pm. If Cork win, then a Clare victory in the second match would set up a Limerick-Cork semi-final on Sunday, July 3 with Kilkenny taking on Clare the previous evening. On the other hands, wins for Cork and Wexford would mean Kilkenny v Cork on Saturday, July 2 and Limerick v Wexford the following day.
Patrick Collins (Ballinhassig);
Niall O’Leary (Castlelyons), Robert Downey (Glen Rovers), Seán O’Donoghue (Inniscarra);
Damien Cahalane (St Finbarr’s), 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).
Ger Collins (Ballinhassig), Ger Millerick (Fr O’Neills), Mark Keane (Ballygiblin), Dáire O’Leary (Watergrasshill), Tommy O’Connell (Midleton), Conor Cahalane (St Finbarr’s), Jack O’Connor (Sarsfields), Patrick Horgan (Glen Rovers), Shane Barrett (Blarney), Alan Cadogan (Douglas), Brian Roche (Bride Rovers).