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Cork Independent

Game On

Cork control their own destiny

Wednesday, 13th June, 2018 3:50pm

It's the last round of the group stages of the Munster Championship with it all to play for for Cork who take on Waterford, who cannot advance, and will play their final match of the championship on Sunday.

 

Cork vs Waterford

It may not have worked out as planned, with two games to go and the three teams to advance all sorted, but at least there is the small matter of who plays in the Munster Final to be determined.

The fact that Tipperary and Waterford’s season is over must be a cause of regret, but when you don’t win any of your games, then you can have few complaints.

Waterford’s crippling injury list and no home game were factors, no doubt, but the big question is what has gone wrong in Tipperary?

All-Ireland champions two years ago, and a puck of the ball away from beating Galway last year, to no wins this yea...interesting times in the Premier County.

It all means Cork head to Thurles to play Waterford knowing that, once they match or better Clare’s result in Ennis, they will qualify for the Munster Final.

This is going to be a difficult match for Waterford, nothing but pride to play for, and despite Derek McGrath saying they will give the game the respect it deserves and preserve the integrity of the championship, he will find it hard to motivate his team.

Or maybe, just maybe, with nothing to play for they might cut loose and will play with abandon and that could make them dangerous opponents.

The problem Waterford has is that they are without marquee players and the exertions of the last few weeks have taken it’s toll.

They are also reliant on Pauric Mahoney for scores, an area that if they do not improve on, they will continue to struggle especially if the Cork defence play as well as they did against Clare and Tipperary.

Cork will have been annoyed at their second half display against Limerick particularly at their sloppy play.

On the plus side, when it looked like going away from them, they had the capacity to respond and gain a draw that has turned out to be invaluable, and more importantly, Cork are still unbeaten and in control of their own destiny.

Mark Ellis is a major doubt for Sunday and that might open the door for Eoin Cadogan to start his first game of the campaign.

Other then that there will be little change to the starting 15, and with Patrick Horgan, Darragh FItzgibbon, Mark Coleman, Colm Spillane and Bill Cooper in good form, I expect Cork to win and make it to a 1 July Munster Final.

Who they will play is a tough one to call, Limerick are better then many of us are giving them credit for, but Clare showed tremendous resilience to get a result in Thurles last week, while we all know how hard it is to win in Ennis.

Could we have a repeat of last year's decider, Cork vs Clare? Do not rule it out.

The other interesting aspect will be the attendance in Thurles, Waterford supporters will hardly travel, so a healthy Cork crowd could be important.

They have not let the team down so far this year, Sunday should be no different.

In fact Cork fans have really helped swell the coffers of the Munster Council and not for the first time I may add.

Minor

It's also Cork vs Waterford in the minor game at 12pm, and on the evidence of results to date, it's hard to see Cork winning this one.

They do have a very outside chance of making the final but even a win in this game might not be enough to save what has been a very disappointing campaign.

Under 20 Football

Cork's opening game in this new championship is against Tipperary in Páirc Uí Rinn on Saturday night at 7.30pm and anything other then a home win would constitute a major surprise.

Under 21 Hurling

A highly rated Cork side face Waterford next Wednesday night in Páirc Uí Rinn at 7.30pm and with senior stars Mark Coleman, Shane Kingston, Darragh Fitzgibbon and goalkeeper Ger Collins anchoring a very well prepared side, they will be firm favourites to advance to the final.

A new format this year sees the provincial finalist going on to the newly constructed All-Ireland series and a win here will open up all sorts of possibilities for this group.

Camogie

Having suffered defeat in the last two All-Ireland Intermediate Finals Cork get this year's campaign underway when they play Carlow in the first game of the group phase in Castle Road on Saturday at 5pm.

Cork are the league champions and recently won the Munster Championship, and with Niamh Ní Chaoimh, Lauren Callanan, Sarah Harrington, Rachel O'Shea and Keeva McCarthy, a home win looks on the cards.

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