Goalkeeper Patrick Collins makes his first start of the year while Robert Downey has been selected at full-back for Sunday’s Co-op SuperStores Munster Hurling League against Limerick at Páirc Uí Rinn (2pm).
After a win over Kerry last Thursday week, another victory would send Cork into next weekend’s final and provide another game ahead of the start of the Allianz Hurling League, with the first game also against Limerick on February 4.
Collins takes over in goal after his brother Ger played against Kerry and Blackrock’s Gavin Connolly was between the sticks in Tuesday’s Canon O’Brien Cup against UCC. Downey was wing-back for the previous two matches but now has the number 3, joining Conor O’Callaghan of Dromtarriffe and captain Seán O’Donoghue in the full-back line.
Downey and O’Donoghue, along with Midleton pair Tommy O’Connell and Conor Lehane, remain the only ever-presents for the three games.
Having been at centre-back against Kerry and UCC, O’Connell now forms a midfield partnership with Kanturk’s Brian O’Sullivan. The new half-back line is Cathal Cormack of Blackrock, Ciarán Joyce and Newtownshandrum’s Cormac O’Brien, who played at wing-forward for UCC against Cork on Tuesday.
Lehane is flanked by Conor Cahalane – who also played for UCC on Tuesday – and Luke Meade, while the full-forward line features Cormac Beausang, Brian Hayes and Shane Barrett, the latter having scored five points for UCC in the Canon game.
CORK (MHL v Limerick): P Collins (Ballinhassig); C O’Callaghan (Dromtarriffe), R Downey (Glen Rovers), S O’Donoghue (Inniscarra, captain); C Cormack (Blackrock), C Joyce (Castlemartyr), C O’Brien (Newtownshandrum); T O’Connell (Midleton), B O’Sullivan (Kanturk); C Cahalane (St Finbarr’s), C Lehane (Midleton), L Meade (Newcestown); C Beausang (Midleton), B Hayes (St Finbarr’s), S Barrett (Blarney). Subs: G Collins (Ballinhassig), E Roche (Bride Rovers), S O’Leary Hayes (Midleton), D Cahalane (St Finbarr’s), E Downey (Glen Rovers), S Quirke (Midleton), B Roche (Bride Rovers), S Twomey (Courcey Rovers), P Horgan (Glen Rovers), C Walsh (Kanturk), D Dalton (Fr O’Neills).