Rebels unchanged for Munster final

Cork have opted to go with an unchanged side for Saturday evening’s Munster SFC final against Kerry in Páirc Uí Chaoimh (7pm).

Having beaten Limerick by 21 points in their semi-final clash and with good form in challenge games — including a win over Roscommon after the Limerick game — the Rebels management have had no need to alter the starting 15.

The team was revealed at last night’s Cork County Board meeting at Páirc Uí Chaoimh. Passage delegate Matt Aherne said that it was very refreshing to see the team named on a Tuesday night, contrasting it with the hurling team announcements on Friday nights at 9pm.

Meanwhile, the county board has revealed a number of proposals to revamp the underage structure in the county. Brought forward as part of the Cork strategic plan, the headline changes are the changing of minor to U17 and the replacing of U21 with U20, reflecting county-level modifications.

In addition to this, U13 and U15 will take precedence as the ‘main’ age-grades, with U12, U14 and U16 to be primarily for the participation of clubs with larger numbers. A one-off U18 competition would be run to cater for players missing out on the minor grade after the change.

A paid role of Rebel Óg secretary will be created, while the Rebel Óg chairperson will sit on the county board executive. These proposals are to be put before clubs at a special convention on October 1.

Elsewhere, clubs are to debate the possibility of extra-time being played for all drawn games in round 3 and round 4 of the county championships, with replays only required after the playing of two periods of extra-time.

County secretary Kevin O’Donovan and chairperson Tracey Kennedy made the case that such a move would help with a potential fixture backlog later in the year.

The issue of fixtures also drew heated conversation with regard to the county U21 football championship. A number of delegates expressed concerns with the dates set for their clubs’ games, while Charleville’s John O’Donnell said that they were being left in a position where they couldn’t fulfil their clash with St Michael’s.

He said that the club had just 17 players for their last game, the win over Dohenys, with six players in the US on J1s with two doing the Leaving Certificate.

Tracey Kennedy said that this was a worrying development.

We must ask ourselves, do we want zero games in the summer? We’ve talked about this with regard to adult games and having a gap, but this was never intended to cover underage fixtures.

Kennedy also said that, in the wake of the successful hosting of a John Kerins Cup U20 game against Kerry in Clonakilty, the board would “certainly be looking to play games in other venues when opportunities arise”.

CORK (SFC v Kerry): M White (Clonakilty); N Walsh (Douglas), J Loughrey (Mallow), K Flahive (Douglas); L O’Donovan (Clonakilty), Thomas Clancy (Clonakilty), M Taylor (Mallow); I Maguire (St Finbarr’s), K O’Hanlon (Kilshannig); E McSweeney (Knocknagree), R Deane (Bantry Blues), J O’Rourke (Carbery Rangers); P Kerrigan (Nemo Rangers), B Hurley (Castlehaven), M Collins (Castlehaven).

Subs: M Martin (Nemo Rangers), K O’Donovan (Nemo Rangers), C Kiely (Ballincollig), Tomás Clancy (Fermoy), S Cronin (Nemo Rangers), A Browne (Newmarket), R O’Toole (Éire Óg), K O’Driscoll (Tadhg Mac Cárthaigh), M Hurley (Nemo Rangers), L Connolly (Nemo Rangers), S Sherlock (St Finbarr’s).

Dalo’s Hurling Show: Clare conspiracies. Cork go third and multiply? The Bonner blow. Did Galway miscalculate?

Ken Hogan, Ger Cunningham and Michael Moynihan review the weekend’s hurling drama with Anthony Daly

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