Still no sign of our starting fifteen for Sunday but Cork have this evening named their team for our NFL Division One clash at McHale Park (throw-in 2.30pm). Here it is:
Cork (NFL Division One v Mayo, 3/4/2011): Ken O’Halloran (Bishopstown); Ray Carey (Clyda Rovers), Jamie O’Sullivan (Bishopstown), Michael Shields ( St. Finbarr’s); Sean Kiely (Macroom), Noel O’Leary (Cill na Martra), Eoin Cadogan (Douglas); Alan O’Connor (St. Colum’s), James Fitzpatrick (Carbery Rangers); Fintan Goold (Macroom), Patrick Kelly (Ballincollig), Pearse O’Neill (Aghada); Daniel Goulding (Éire Óg), Fiachra Lynch (Valley Rovers), Donncha O’Connor (Ballydesmond).
This line-out shows four changes from the one which eked out that narrow win over Galway in their most recent NFL outing the weekend before last. Into the team for Sunday come Jamie O’Sullivan, Sean Kiely, James Fitzpatrick and Fiachra Lynch while out go Paudie Kissane, Denis O’Sullivan, Nicholas Murphy and the injured Colm O’Neill. There are also a few positional switches from the last day, notably amongst the backs.
This is still a Cork team that’ll arrive in Castlebar with plenty of Celtic crosses jangling in their pockets as nine of Sunday’s team also started against Down in Croke Park last September. It’s also a team that has nine survivors (not the same nine as played in the All-Ireland but close enough) from the side that thrashed us in last year’s league final, while only three of the shadow Cork team we beat down at Páirc Uí Chaoimh to qualify for that decider make it onto the teamsheet for Sunday. It would appear, then, that with this selection Conor Counihan isn’t giving us the free pass he tossed in our direction down by the Lee last year.