Friday 3 February 2023 Dublin: 10°C
# Dual star
Club senior winner Hayes set to link up with Cork hurlers for 2023 season
The forward had featured for the county senior football side this year.

ST FINBARR’S FORWARD Brian Hayes is set to link up with the Cork senior hurling squad for the 2023 season.

brian-hayes Ken Sutton / INPHO Ken Sutton / INPHO / INPHO

A dual star at both senior club and inter-county underage level, Hayes had featured for the Cork senior footballers this year.

He made championship appearances off the bench this summer against Kerry, Louth and Dublin, but The42 understands that his inter-county focus will be on hurling as he links up with his former Cork U20 boss Pat Ryan, now in the senior hotseat.

In the summer of 2021, Hayes won two All-Ireland hurling medals at U20 level for Cork. He scored 0-2 off the bench in the delayed 2020 decider against Dublin and 1-2 when starting in the 2021 final against Galway.

In October this year he helped St Finbarr’s land their first Cork senior hurling title in 29 years, scoring a crucial goal  in that game.

brian-hayes-celebrates-a-goal-scored Ken Sutton / INPHO Brian Hayes celebrates his goal in the Cork senior hurling final in October. Ken Sutton / INPHO / INPHO

His club colleague Ben Cunningham, man-of-the-match in this year’s Cork senior hurling final, is another young forward to be looked at as Cork begin their pre-season preparations. Cunningham, who also has won All-Ireland U20 medals with Cork, hit 0-9 in St Finbarr’s decider win over Blackrock and matched that scoring tally in their narrow recent loss against Clare’s Ballyea in last month’s Munster semi-final.

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Cork’s panel for next year also includes Declan Dalton, who featured in the 2021 All-Ireland final loss to Limerick, but a foot injury sustained later that year prevented him from being in the frame for the inter-county side in 2022. He hit 0-7 in a county final win for his club Fr O’Neills in October as they reached the top level of senior club hurling in Cork.

The Rebels management have also added Gavin Connolly, a county senior winner with Blackrock in 2020, to the squad as they increase their goalkeeping options.

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