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Game On

Cork badly need a win

Thursday, 9th March, 2017 1:00am

There’s a line in the song by Van Morrison ‘there will be days like this’. Well, Sunday felt like that as I sat in the press box in Nowlan Park and watched the Twitter feed tell me Cork were losing to Clare in football.

It’s not the first time that both Cork teams have lost on the same day, but I think the manner and margin of defeat in the football game shocked most people.

While accepting that Clare have improved in the last number of years, the reality is that four years ago they were a Division 4 team, while Cork were contesting the Division 1 Final.

In the same period, Cork have won three of the last four Munster Under 21 titles, while Clare have failed to win a match in the championship, which makes Sunday’s result all the more worrying. Outscored 2-11 to 0-5 from the 25th to the 70th minute is a serious concern and it must be addressed.

Had Cork won, they would have been right back in the hunt for promotion; now the job is to regroup and stave off the threat of relegation to Division 3.

Promotion is still a possibility but they are now dependent on results elsewhere going their way and of course, not suffering any further losses.

Meath are the visitors to Páirc Uí Rinn in two weeks’ time, hopefully by the time that game comes around the team will be back on track and produce a performance to show they are far better than the display in Ennis.

On Sunday the hurlers, on the back of successive defeats to Dublin and Kilkenny, head to Walsh Park for a meeting with Waterford who comfortably saw off Dublin in Croke Park last Saturday.

With over 40 minutes played last Sunday, Cork were level, but really had no answer when Kilkenny – who were seeking their first win – drove for victory.

Six points in a five-minute spell proved decisive and, try as they might, Cork could not find a way back into the game as a physically stronger Kilkenny side took control.

Indeed, were it not for Anthony Nash the margin of victory would have been much greater. He pulled off two excellent saves to deny Colin Fennelly goals after powerful runs took him past several Cork defenders.

After the game, Kieran Kingston expressed concern at the second half fade out, that on top of the poor form against Dublin will make next week’s encounter a very difficult one and will test the players and management alike.

Very few players impressed in the game. Nash was one, Mark Coleman hit a lot of ball, Dean Brosnan worked hard, while Conor Lehane’s accuracy from place balls kept Cork in touch.

Cormac Murphy’s red card and Daniel Kearney’s injury will mean a reshuffle in the team for what is now a must-win game. Along with Dublin, Clare and Kilkenny, Cork have two points so a lot to play for in terms of a quarter-final berth or a relegation play-off.

Waterford have had the better of Cork in recent games and with Kevin Moran, the Bennetts and Pauric Mahony all in good form – and on the evidence of last Sunday – it looks odds-on for a home win.

It’s a ground where Cork do not have a great record, here’s hoping they can redress that on Sunday, because if ever a county needed a lift, then it is us right now.

Sunday’s game in Walsh Park has a 2pm start and will be broadcast live on C103.  

There’s a line in the song by Van Morrison ‘there will be days like this’. Well, Sunday felt like that as I sat in the press box in Nowlan Park and watched the Twitter feed tell me Cork were losing to Clare in football.

It’s not the first time that both Cork teams have lost on the same day, but I think the manner and margin of defeat in the football game shocked most people.

While accepting that Clare have improved in the last number of years, the reality is that four years ago they were a Division 4 team, while Cork were contesting the Division 1 Final.

In the same period, Cork have won three of the last four Munster Under 21 titles, while Clare have failed to win a match in the championship, which makes Sunday’s result all the more worrying. Outscored 2-11 to 0-5 from the 25th to the 70th minute is a serious concern and it must be addressed.

Had Cork won, they would have been right back in the hunt for promotion; now the job is to regroup and stave off the threat of relegation to Division 3.

Promotion is still a possibility but they are now dependent on results elsewhere going their way and of course, not suffering any further losses.

Meath are the visitors to Páirc Uí Rinn in two weeks’ time, hopefully by the time that game comes around the team will be back on track and produce a performance to show they are far better than the display in Ennis.

On Sunday the hurlers, on the back of successive defeats to Dublin and Kilkenny, head to Walsh Park for a meeting with Waterford who comfortably saw off Dublin in Croke Park last Saturday.

With over 40 minutes played last Sunday, Cork were level, but really had no answer when Kilkenny – who were seeking their first win – drove for victory.

Six points in a five-minute spell proved decisive and, try as they might, Cork could not find a way back into the game as a physically stronger Kilkenny side took control.

Indeed, were it not for Anthony Nash the margin of victory would have been much greater. He pulled off two excellent saves to deny Colin Fennelly goals after powerful runs took him past several Cork defenders.

After the game, Kieran Kingston expressed concern at the second half fade out, that on top of the poor form against Dublin will make next week’s encounter a very difficult one and will test the players and management alike.

Very few players impressed in the game. Nash was one, Mark Coleman hit a lot of ball, Dean Brosnan worked hard, while Conor Lehane’s accuracy from place balls kept Cork in touch.

Cormac Murphy’s red card and Daniel Kearney’s injury will mean a reshuffle in the team for what is now a must-win game. Along with Dublin, Clare and Kilkenny, Cork have two points so a lot to play for in terms of a quarter-final berth or a relegation play-off.

Waterford have had the better of Cork in recent games and with Kevin Moran, the Bennetts and Pauric Mahony all in good form – and on the evidence of last Sunday – it looks odds-on for a home win.

It’s a ground where Cork do not have a great record, here’s hoping they can redress that on Sunday, because if ever a county needed a lift, then it is us right now.

Sunday’s game in Walsh Park has a 2pm start and will be broadcast live on C103.  

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