Hurling League final: Aidan Ryan is surprise choice at full back for Cork

Jimmy Barry-Murphy makes three changes from side that beat Dublin in semi-final

Aidan Ryan

is the surprise selection for Cork hurlers in this weekend’s hurling league final against


. The Midleton player comes in at full back for his first start of the campaign in a side that shows three changes from the one that staged a big comeback to defeat Dublin in the semi-final


Ryan comes in for Damien Cahalane, having impressed in last weekend's challenge match against Kilkenny. A former underage county player, he won a county medal with Midleton in 2013, lining out in the forwards.

“He’s a versatile player,” according to Cork manager Jimmy Barry-Murphy, “and we’ve been impressed with his club form and asked him in to the training panel.

“We’ve been anxious to develop the panel strength in the backs and Aidan’s done well so we decided to give him a chance.”

The full-back position has been a problem for Cork since Christopher Joyce damaged his cruciate ligament and will miss the rest of the season.

The other changes see regular centre back Mark Ellis return after illness prevented him from starting the semi-final indirectly in place of full forward Luke O'Farrell, who is replaced by Conor Lehane moving from the half forwards where Rob O'Shea resumes having started centrefield the last day. Aidan Walsh returns to the middle after playing centre back against Dublin.

Wing back Cormac Murphy, recovered from a shoulder injury, also comes back in place of William Kearney, who started at corner back the last. Stephen McDonnell reverts to the corner.

Tipperary under-21s are unchanged for tomorrow's All-Ireland under-21 football final against Tyrone. The county unsurprisingly stick with the side that defeated champions Dublin a fortnight ago.

Meanwhile, in a statement the Ulster Council of the GAA has reacted strongly to the allegation that it "pressured or bullied any individual or organisation in any way".

‘Safety record’

“We have an impeccable safety record within our stadia throughout Ulster and Ireland,” it added. “The GAA is appalled at being brought into a live and ongoing HR grievance matter within Sport NI. We are also concerned that today’s events could prejudice our forthcoming planning application for a provincial stadium project at Casement Park.”

The statement was in response to claims made by Paul Scott, of the Safety Technical Group (STG), who told the Northern Ireland Department of Culture, Arts and Leisure committee that he had been expressing concerns about the proposed Casement Park redevelopment design for two years and also alleged that he had been placed under pressure by both the department and the GAA to withdraw his views.

He said that he had issued a complaint of bullying and harassment with the chief executive of Sport Northern Ireland.

CORK (AHL v Waterford): A Nash; S O’Neill, A Ryan, S McDonnell; L McLoughlin, M Ellis, C Murphy; D Kearney, A Walsh; B Cooper, S Harnedy, R O’Shea; A Cadogan, C Lehane, P Horgan.

TIPPERARY (U-21F v Tyrone): E Comerford; K Fahey, J Feehan, C O’Shaughnessy; R Mulcahy, L Boland, B Maher; S O’Brien, C O’Riordan; J Lonergan, I Fahey, L Casey; K O’Halloran, J Keane, P Maher.

NEW YORK (SFC v Galway) : G Joyce; R McGinley, G McCartan, K Quinn; B Gibbons, K Scally, C Maginn; A Hope, B Connor; R Wherity, N McFeely, D Freeman; JJ Matthews, PJ Banville, G O’Driscoll.

GALWAY (SFC): B O’Donoghue; J Duane, F Hanley, C Sweeney; L Silke, G O’Donnell, S Denvir; F Ó Curraoin, P Conroy; G Sice, S Walsh, M Lundy; P Ó Gríofa, P Sweeney, D Cummins.

Seán Moran

Seán Moran

Seán Moran is GAA Correspondent of The Irish Times