All of a sudden those odds of 9/4 for a Mayo win at Páirc Uí Chaoimh are, perhaps, looking a bit more attractive following the announcement tonight of Cork’s team for our top of the table NFL Division 1 clash on Sunday (throw-in 2.30 pm). In all, Conor Counihan has made nine changes from the team that started against Derry in the previous round. Out go ‘keeper Paddy O’Shea, backs Eoin Cadogan, Paudie Kissane and Noel O’Leary, midfielder Alan O’Connor and forwards Paddy Kelly, Daniel Goulding and Paul Kerrigan while coming in to replace them are Alan Quirke in goals, Anthony Lynch, Kieran O’Connor, Ger Spillane, Graham Canty, Aidan Walsh, Donncha O’Connor, Kevin McMahon and Colm O’Neill.
With Eoin Cotter, Michael Shields and John Hayes switching positions, this means that only three players – Derek Kavanagh, Fintan Goold and Ciaran Sheehan – start in the same positions as they did against Derry the weekend before last. That’s one hell of a shake-up, no matter how you cut it. It is true that some of those coming in for Sunday – notably Anthony Lynch, Ger Spillane, Graham Canty, Donncha O’Connor and Colm O’Neill – are far from neophytes and so we shouldn’t get lulled into any false notions that Cork will be sending out their ‘B’ team against us at Páirc Uí Chaoimh the next day. It’s just that they might not all be on first name terms, that’s all.
Cork’s team for Sunday is as follows:
Cork (NFL v Mayo): Alan Quirke (Valley Rovers); Eoin Cotter (Douglas), Michael Shields (St Finbarr’s), Anthony Lynch (Naomh Aban); Kieran O’Connor (Aghada), Ger Spillane (Ballygarvan), Graham Canty (Bantry); Aidan Walsh (Kanturk), Derek Kavanagh (Nemo Rangers); Fintan Goold (Macroom), Donncha O’Connor (Ballydesmond); Kevin McMahon (Carbery Rangers); Colm O’Neill (Ballyclough), Ciaran Sheehan (Éire Óg), John Hayes (Carbery Rangers).