BOTH CORK SENIOR teams have received boosts ahead of next weekend’s championship games with injury problems having cleared up in their respective camps. The county’s hurling side face an All-Ireland qualifier showdown with Offaly next Saturday night in Páirc Uí Chaoimh and are likely to be able to call on the services of Niall McCarthy for that clash.
The Carrigtwohill man was thought to have been unavailable for the match as he continued his recovery from a broken knuckle sustained in a club championship tie that ended up ruling him out of Cork’s recent Munster semi-final loss against Tipperary. But he managed to get game time in Carrigtwohill’s Cork SHL clash with Sarsfields on Saturday night and got on the scoresheet despite their 2-13 to 1-11 defeat.
The return of McCarthy is a boost to the attacking options available to Jimmy Barry-Murphy but the Cork boss will be forced into at least one change with centre-back Eoin Cadogan absent due to football commitments and the Na Piarsaigh trio of John Gardiner, Sean Óg Ó hAilpín and Christopher Joyce thought to be in the frame as potential replacements.
Cadogan is set to be joined in the Cork football squad for next Sunday’s Munster final against Clare by attacking duo Pearse O’Neill and Fintan Goold. O’Neill was ruled out of the semi-final win over Kerry with a groin problem while Goold had an infection in his foot but despite their club activity being subsequently curtailed, they have recovered to be back in the frame for the Gaelic Grounds clash.
Opponents Clare have only one concern with Graham Kelly, an absentee for the semi-final success against Limerick, still hampered with an arm injury. Manager Michéal McDermott told TheScore.ie that he will give the St Joseph’s Milltown-Malbay man every chance to prove himself fit to secure a place in the squad.
“Graham is still very doubtful at this stage. It’s a tough injury to come back from in a short space of time. It’s going to be touch and go really whether he is okay come Sunday afternoon. But he’s a real warrior and we’ll give him every chance to be fit. At least we have no other injury problems at the moment which is a huge help.”