Dublin have the motivation to avenge recent heavy defeat to Cork
Preview: Allianz Hurling League semi-final – Cork v Dublin, Nowlan Park, 2pm , TG4
Rob O’Shea has been the league’s main discovery for Cork during the Allianz Hurling League. Photograph: Inpho
Electric and all as Cork’s Saturday night demolition of Dublin was six weeks ago, it was hard to shift the feeling that a team who can score 0-21 by half-time probably ought to be making more of an effort to score 2-15 instead.
You can be reasonably sure Kilkenny and Tipperary would have stuck a couple of goals on a team they were undressing like Cork were Dublin. That Cork went out and scored six goals in their remaining two games suggests it didn’t go unmentioned.
They go to Nowlan Park in decent fettle. Christopher Joyce is going to be a severe loss at full back but the rest of the side has been gradually taking shape. Rob O’Shea has been the league’s main discovery, initially at wing-back and latterly at wing-forward. Alan Cadogan and Mark Ellis have both recovered from hamstring injuries and Pa Cronin is back training, albeit that this game comes too soon for him.
Settled sideGer CunninghamPeter KellyMick CartonLiam RusheCathal Crummy
Also worth watching will be whether Cunningham puts Liam Rushe back in at full forward to test out Damien Cahalane. Mark Schutte went in to let Rushe loose at centre forward the last day against Limerick and though he scored 1-5, Dublin might consider it worth another shot with Rushe at the edge of the square.
All in all, there’s an unavoidable strain of shadow boxing to this fixture. A league final would do neither side any harm – particularly not Cork who are without a league title since 1998. But it could just be that the sting of that spanking in Croke Park last time out is enough to draw a performance out of Dublin. Verdict: Dublin