Counihan shuffles the deck for final

Conor CounihanAs expected, Conor Counihan has made sweeping changes to his side for Sunday’s NFL Division 1 final.  Out go nine of the team that started for the Donkey Ayters at Páirc Uí Chaoimh the weekend before last, as a number of heavy hitters come into the starting fifteen for the decider at Croke Park.

The players coming in are Paddy O’Shea in goal, Ray Carey at corner-back, Michael Shields at full-back, half-backs Noel O’Leary and Paudie Kissane, Alan O’Connor at midfield, Paddy Kelly in the half-forwards and corner-forwards Daniel Goulding and Paul Kerrigan.   Making way are Alan Quirke, Derek Kavanagh, Kieran O’Connor, Ger Spillane, Brian O’Regan, Graham Canty, Kevin McMahon, Colm O’Neill and John Hayes.

Cork’s team for Sunday is as follows:

Cork (NFL Division 1 final v Mayo): Paddy O’Shea (St. Vincent’s); Ray Carey (Clyda Rovers), Michael Shields (St. Finbarr’s), Eoin Cotter (Douglas); Noel O’Leary (Cill na Martra), Paudie Kissane (Clyda Rovers), Jamie O’Sullivan (Bishopstown); Alan O’Connor (St. Colum’s), Aidan Walsh Kanturk); Fintan Goold (Macroom), Donncha O’Connor (Ballydesmond), Paddy Kelly (Ballincollig); Daniel Goulding (Éire Óg), Ciaran Sheehan (Éire Óg), Paul Kerrigan (Nemo Rangers).

17 thoughts on “Counihan shuffles the deck for final

  1. Are you really happy with that team facetheball? the backs are tiny for starters. No Mcgarrity is a massive concern for me. The forwards are probably fine. I was hoping that Mahony would have at least taken a couple of gambles with bigger men.

  2. Just listened to the audio with Pet now and he was reasonable enough, I have to admit. He goes for us on the basis that we’re closer to our championship fifteen than they are, which is a fair enough assessment, I suppose (even if it is Spillane).

  3. Are we really closer to our championship XV though Willie Joe.

    There are fair arguements to be made for Keith Higgins, Tom Cunniffe, Peadar Gardiner, Ronan McGarrity, Pat Harte, Aidan Kilcoyne and Barry Moran. There are definitely 3 or 4 there that would make a big improvement.

    Injuries and good results coupled with a conservative manager might hoodwink us into having a starting team come the Summer that is not as good as it could be.

    The one positive is that we are now developing a strong panel and have options in most positions.

  4. Hit the nail on the head bingobus. I think a few risks should have been taken. No point taking them where taking on water…it might be too late

  5. Regarding the Cork selection, we are missing 7-8 first teamers plus Fintan Goold is supposed to be doubtful, while we have a rookie full-back (Jamie O’Sullivan) on Aidan O’Shea. Mayo really should win this.

  6. Of the ones mentioned by bingobus I’d expect not that many to make the championship XV. Unlikely Cunniffe, Harte, Kilcoyne or Moran will start in championship. The lads who’ve been injured just haven’t had the game time and Johnno rarely throws an out of practice player in at the deep end.

    Keith will start Championship no doubt and both Gardiner and McGarrity have strong shouts as well.

  7. Thank God, at last tidying up my desk and heading home. It feels like at least a month since the game in Cork. Roll on Sunday & hopefully more silverware to add to our 2010 collection!

  8. Stop your blegarding Turenne!

    Mayo and Cork are both missing some big players.
    I think it shows the strength in depth of the panels that the two starting 15’s still look strong.

    We both have old wounds to heal in terms of winning finals in Croke Park, should make for a cracking match.

  9. Jeez Dan you have just reminded me of the AIF clash with Cork in 89, and the magical time there was in the lead up to that final. I think we had something like 6-7 weeks between the semi-f win against Tyrone and the big day itself, and the whole county was completely gripped with fantastic sense of hope and excitement in the lead up to the big day. I can’t remember us having any serious baggage or fear of impending doom in the run in and our optimism was based on Cork’s failures in the previous 2 All-Irelands. Of course, the feckers went on to win 2 in a row and you could say that we let them off the hook when Larry blazed his second goal opportunity narrowly wide. The miss was like a jump lead jolt to the stricken Cork patient and they rallied late in the game with a flurry of points to win by 4. Sport is often about inches and it has to be said that Mayo could do with even a few millimetres at critical times at HQ.

    So Dan, when you mention old wounds and healing in Croker, let’s hope the time has come for Cork to do something for our rehabilitation. I expect a frantic last 10 minutes and you’d never know maybe a speculative lob from Howley might bounce over the bar to win the game in injury time after the linesman gets the call wrong in favour of Mayo. That would do very nicely!!

  10. Do Cork have a psychological advantage from the losing the last day? I know if I were from Cork and got beat last time I’d bust a gut to make sure to put one over on that shower next time. And v hard to guard against complacency for De Deputy, seeing as the last victory is just there in the back of the mind. We’ll know more Sunday evening I suppose.

  11. kevmy I take your point about a manager not starting players who have not had game time but remember last Summer none of Howley, Kilcoyne, Barry Moran, or David Heaney played any league football yet were definites come the championship.

    Check out the brilliant archive and you will see how different the team became once we came back from NYC.

  12. Topo D Rite – I hadn’t even thought about that game, thanks for the bad memories!
    It’s my first memory of watching Mayo. I was 13 and watched it in some Irsh club in London. I wasn’t even that distraught as my mother is Cork, so I was pleased for that side of the family. How times have changed, I want us to hammer them every time we play now!
    I remember thinking in ’89, ah sure let them have this one, we’ll come back and win it next year or the year after. 21 years later and………..

  13. bingobus – I’m not ruling any of them out at all but I do think it’s slightly different this year. We have much more options in attack and tbh I was never a fan of Barry Moran at FF.

    Also Howley and Heaney had been certainties in the team before the league last yr. You cannot say that for Cunniffe, Kilcoyne or Moran.

    I just think if Championship started tomoro with everyone fit only Keith would be a certainty to come back into the 15 of the players out at the moment. I’d have Ronan as well but Parsons and O’Se are on great form. Players may play themselves into the team between now and Championship though.

    Either way it’s great to have all the options we have this year.

  14. no offence innocentbystander, I know where your coming from but those theories about the impact of a previous result on the one coming up are a load of owl shite. Its all on the day, well its who has the best players playing, after that its very much about who wants it most and of course the bit of luck and the ref. The latter two can be overcome by ability and desire of course. If we lost the last day we’d be hearing how they now had an advantage over us now and how we never beat Cork. I swear to God I am so sick of our second class attitude. I’ve lived in East Cork for the last 10 years and the confidence they have here is incredible. Yes I know they seem to win all irelands in either code with annoying regularity and that brings confidence but we shouldnt be so down on ourselves. We’re almost half happier when we’re failing “see I told ye, told ye we’d feck it up”. Much as I dislike the Rossies if we had half their self delusion we’d have wrapped up a couple of Sams in the last 20 years.
    Anyway rant over, lets try to be positive, realistic of course, we dont need any blind cheerleaders but we have every reason to be reasonably confident going into this one. We’re as good as them, in fact some of our lads beat their lads in the 2006 U-21 final.
    In Cork they are annoyingly confident about this one in the local press. Its not quiet that they only have to show up but its not far off it. Theres a feeling that with Kerry potentially in decline (although last time I checked with McCarthy back they have 12 or 13 of last years AIF team), that this All Ireland is Corks to lose – and winning the national league is the first step in that. We shall see.
    We’re on a hiding to nothing with this game I feel though in relation to the national reaction to it, if we care much about that. One things for sure though, I’d imagine whoever loses this will be branded as chokers. If its us then “ah sure they never win in Croker” which we know is bullshit, but on top of the Meath cave in you’d have to wonder. If Cork lose all the talk will be about last September as well. Anyway, lets focus on the performance. I dont care that much about the result , except for the fact that I wont be able to go to work Monday if we lose – as long as we show some forward progress and plenty of heart and determination.
    Anyway will be on the road early tomorrow with the young bucks in the back and the Mayo and Cork flags on the car. They wont come with me if I only put up the Mayo flags.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *