Counihan sticks with original Dublin team for Kildare visit

Cork manager Conor Counihan has stuck with the team he originally named to face Dublin for tomorrow night's Allianz League encounter with Kildare at Páirc Uí Rinn (throw-in 7pm).

For last weekend's opener against the Dubs, Michael Shields, Graham Canty, Alan O'Connor and Ciaran Sheehan had all been pencilled in to start but they were withdrawn prior to the throw-in at Croke Park.

Counihan has restored the quartet to the starting line-up for the Rebels' second Division 1 match, with Tom Clancy (Clonakilty), Tomas Clancy (Fermoy), Andrew O'Sullivan and John O'Rourke the players to drop to the bench.

This is Cork's first meeting with the Lilywhites since their 2-19 to 0-12 All-Ireland quarter-final win last August. Colm O'Neill (1-3), Donncha O'Connor (0-4) and Aidan Walsh (0-3) were the top scorers that day.

Cork made a limp start to the league with a 1-18 to 2-9 loss to Dublin, and corner forward Paul Kerrigan is eager to get their title defence back on track with a home win tomorrow night.

"Every game in Division 1 is going to be a tough game this year. We knew we were disappointing to watch and we were disappointed ourselves after the game against Dublin," he told the Irish Examiner.

"It's a big challenge against Kildare and after it we're facing into a three-week break so we don't want to have two defeats from two facing into the month of March.

"Kildare want to draw a line under that (All-Ireland quarter-final) and make their own mark, starting this year. I think they'll have that out of their heads."

Kerrigan added: "They have a few new players and Jason Ryan is with them as well. They'll want to take it to us and will be boosted by last week's win over Donegal.

"They had a certain way of playing last year and they've kind of modified it after we beat them so they'll probably tighten up at the back and try and catch us on the break and get those key players, the likes of (Emmet) Bolton, (Niall) Kelly and (Johnny) Doyle, more into play.

"We're expecting a tough, physical game and they'll probably be looking forward to coming down and playing under lights again."

CORK (NFL v Kildare): Ken O'Halloran; Eoin Cadogan, Michael Shields, Jamie O'Sullivan; Paudie Kissane, Graham Canty, Damien Cahalane; Alan O'Connor, Aidan Walsh; Fintan Goold, Pearse O'Neill, Ciaran Sheehan; Colm O'Neill, Donncha O'Connor, Paul Kerrigan.

Substitutes: David Lordan, John McLoughlin, Eoin O'Mahony, Noel O'Leary, Tom Clancy, Denis O'Sullivan, Tomas Clancy, Andrew O'Sullivan, John O'Rourke, Barry O'Driscoll, Mark Collins.

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