NHL Div 1: Dublin v Cork preview

Cork hurling boss Jimmy Barry-Murphy has made two changes for Sunday’s clash with Dublin at Croke Park.

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Cork go into this weekend’s game in much better form having beaten Waterford by eight points at Páirc Uí Rínn.   Dublin, the reigning league champions will have to improve considerably if they have any hopes of retaining their crown however.

Star of Cork’s opening day performance; 20 year-old Conor Lehane will start at full-forward on Sunday.  Eoin Cadogan returns at wing-back while Tom Kenny starts in midfield alongside Seán Óg Ó hAilpín.  Cadogan, who returns from injury to make his first appearance of the season, has been drafted into the team at wing-back in place of William Egan.  Cadogan also plays for the Cork footballers but will focus solely on the small ball this weekend.

Dublin will be without All-Star full-back Peter Kelly, who suffered a knee injury during the opening league game.  There is worse news for the Dubs with Young Hurler of the Year Liam Rushe also injured.

Going into this weekend’s game, Cork look in much better form; buoyed no doubt by the return of icon Seán Óg Ó hAilpín and the fact that the game against Waterford was the first under JBM’s return as boss.  Such was Dublin’s dismal form on opening day that it will surely take more than one game to return to last season’s form.  Many could have been forgiven for thinking Dublin had not done a pre-season such was the poverty of performance.

The young Rebels may be daunted by a trip to Croker however – for many it will be there first time playing there.   The Leesiders appear to be the hungrier side at the moment though and should come through by at least a score.

CORK Starting XV: D Óg Cusack; S O’Neill, S McDonnell, B Murphy; J Gardiner, R Cashman, E Cadogan; S Óg Ó hAilpín, T Kenny; C Lehane, P Cronin, C Naughton; P Horgan, P O’Sullivan, B O’Connor.

DUBLIN Starting XV: Gary Maguire;  Niall Corcoran, Paul Schutte, Ruairi Trainor; Michael Carton, Joey Boland, Shane Durkin; John McCaffrey, Danny Sutcliffe; Conor McCormack, Ryan O’Dwyer, Simon Lambert; David Treacy, Shane Stapleton, Paul Ryan

SUBSTITUTES: Alan Nolan,  Conor Clinton, David Curtin, Eamon Dillon, Oisin Gough, Alan McCrabbe, Niall McMorrow, Maurice O’Brien, David O’Callaghan, Ross O’Carroll, Martin Quilty


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