O'Donovan available to help Crokes in Munster showdown


Dr Crokes could field their best possible line-up in Sunday’s Munster club final against Cork champions Castlehaven as midfielder Ambrose O’Donovan makes a late run for inclusion.

“It looks like we have a full strength squad available to us for the first time in months because Ambrose O’Donovan got the cast off his finger yesterday and returns to training this week,” said Dr Crokes joint manager Vince Casey. “Barring somebody picking up a cold or flu, it looks like we have a clean bill of health for Sunday.”

Dr Crokes, seeking to be the first club to retain the Munster crown since Nemo Rangers completed the three-in-a-row in 2002, welcomed the recent two-week break since victory over Clonmel Commercials on November 18th as most of the team had played on eight successive weekends.

“We did some light training on Tuesday and Friday of last week and we gave most of our starting 15 the weekend off, because our junior team were playing in league final on Sunday so some of the panel played in that,” explained Casey. “The lads should be raring to go on Sunday, as we think they have that bit of freshness back that comes after a weekend off at this time of the year.”

Dr Crokes must still play the Kerry league final against Dingle, a repeat of the county championship final which they won comfortably, and will complete the seven-in-a-row in their district championship should they defeat Rathmore in the forthcoming O’Donoghue Cup final.

First they must overcome a Castlehaven team, albeit with very few established intercounty footballers, who are seeking to end a 15-year gap since their last provincial title on Cork soil.

Meanwhile, Mickey Harte is set to wield the axe with a major overhaul of his Tyrone squad, it emerged last night. As many as 12 members of the panel could be facing the chop. John Devine, Owen Mulligam, Brian McGuigan and Davy Harte are among those who will not be involved in 2013. Harte looks set to revamp his defence, with the reported exclusion of Seán O’Neill, Damien McCaul, Cathal McCarron and Stephen McNally. Midfielders Aidan Cassidy and Niall McKenna are also said to be surplus to requirements, as are attackers Peter Hughes and Ciarán Gervin.

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