Murphy returns to settled Cork side
CORK have made only one change from the side that defeated fellow Division One table-toppers Kildare in their last National Football League match before the winter break. Brian Murphy, now freed from club duties with Clonakilty since the Cork champions lost the Munster final, comes in at right corner back with Mark Farr dropping out of the full back line.
Otherwise the team for the match against Cavan in Pairc Ui Rinn is along established lines. Former wing back Ciaran O'Sullivan, who made a pronounced scoring impact from full forward for Munster in last Sunday's Railway Cup defeat by Connacht, continues his career in the forwards.
However, Martin Cronin, who played well for the province in his customary half forward position, reverts to the right half back where he played for the county in the first half of the League. Colin Corkery, who withdrew from the Munster team at short notice, is all right and will line out at right corner forward.
One positional change sees Pat Hegarty and Liam Honohan switch back to more recognised postings. Hegarty struggled a bit at midfield against Kildare with Honohan eventually dropping back from full forward to assist in the sector. On Sunday Honohan is at midfield and Hegarty at full forward.
Substitutes will be named later and presumably will include former captain Steven O'Brien who has been resting for much of the past six months medical advice after a number of stress injuries, including a groin problem, had caught up with the Nemo man. He has in recent weeks returned to training and is a welcome addition to the panel.
Cavan will name their side later in the week. Clare, who find themselves in danger of sliding from Division One to Three in two seasons welcome back Colm Clancy at centre forward after a back injury had kept him out of action before Christmas.
The side will be captained by Frankie Griffin as regular skipper Padraig Conway 5s ruled out by injury and flu and may not even take his place on the bench. It will be Griffin's 97th league match for the county and he looks set to break Noel Roche's record of 105 appearances. Back in contention on the bench is J J Rouine who missed last year with a broken leg.
Clare are at home to All-Ireland finalists Mayo who have deferred selection until tomorrow to monitor injuries to Pat Fallon (hamstring) and the back-in-favour Ronan Golding who has a groin strain.
Dublin manager Mickey Whelan and his selectors have decided not to name a team for the match against Louth despite having an injury-free panel. One player who could be called up is Ray Cosgrove, who kicked seven points for his club Kilmacud Crokes in a challenge against the county team last weekend.
Injuries have forced Kildare to delay selection. The biggest worry is Brian Fahy who damaged a hamstring.
The AIB challenge between Waterford hurlers and Kilkenny which was shelved while the counties were in the same division of the National Hurling League, has been revived and will take place on Sunday at Walsh Park at 3.0. Kilkenny have just returned from a weekend in Killarney which was part of their reward for winning the South East hurling league before Christmas.