Cahalane returns to Cork vanguard


NIALL CAHALANE returns to Cork's defence for Sunday's National League quarter-final against Kerry at Pairc Ui Chaoimh. He is the only change to the side that defeated Armagh to finish top of Division Two last month.

He replaces Brian Murphy in a side that sees Steven O'Brien retained at centre back after playing most of the campaign at centre forward, in which position Billy Morgan and selectors apparently, see the versatile Nemo Rangers player's long-term future.

Kerry are again troubled by injury to the luckless Maurice Fitzgerald, but will have the undivided attention of the inter-county players from the new All-Ireland club champions, Laune Rangers. The team will be announced today.

For their relegation play-off against Laois at Croke Park, Kildare make three changes to the team that was held to a draw with Donegal in Ballyshannon. Martin Ryan, who has since won a Sigerson Cup medal with UCD, returns to the team in place of Sean O'Rourke. Ryan missed the last two matches after suffering a bothersome afternoon in Joe Brolly's company up in Derry.

The two other changes are in attack, where Brendan Walsh and Martin Lynch come in for the injured Tom Brennan and David Fennin who was replaced at full forward by Lynch at half-time of the Donegal match. Laois name their team today.

Wicklow make two changes from their last match, against Waterford, for Sunday's quarter-final against Donegal at Croke Park. Seamus Miley comes in for his inter-county debut at right corner back in place of Kevin Twomey while Nicky Murphy replaces the injured Brendan Brady.

Meanwhile, the GAC has released details for the latter stages of the National Leagues. The hurling quarter-finals, on April 14th, will be staged on a double bill in Thurles - despite the all-Leinster line-up of Kilkenny-Laois and Offaly-Wexford. A fortnight later Tipperary's semifinal against either Kilkenny or Laois will be at Nowlan Park and Galway's meeting with the survivors of the other quarter-final is fixed for Limerick.

As usual, the football semi-finals will be staged on a Croke Park double bill, on April 21st. Donegal or Wicklow will play the winners of Cork-Kerry and Derry or Cavan will face either Meath or Mayo.

The Railway Cup football final between Leinster and Munster, who dethroned Ulster, the champions of the last six years, will take place on April 14th at Newbridge.