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After the drama comes the calm

Wednesday, 6th June, 2018 3:34pm

It’s been a roller coaster ride for the last three weeks, so the Cork hurlers and management will be glad of the break.

There is a certainty, though, that they will be keeping a close eye on developments in the Gaelic Grounds and Thurles, where the results will determine what they require on 17 June.

Cork are actually in a good position, and without going into the various permutations, and there are many - the simple fact is if they beat Waterford in the final game, they will advance into the next phase of the championship.

Whether that will be into the Munster Final or the qualifiers will become clearer after Sunday.

In fact should Limerick defeat Waterford and Clare beat Tipperary, then Cork will advance irrespective of the result of their clash with Waterford.

Anyway, all of that is for another day, let's now reflect on what has been a dramatic and thrilling Munster Championship to date.

There has been drama, controversy and intensity in every game, the exact opposite of the fare being served up in Leinster, which could be a big advantage to the eventual winners of that championhip, which looks certain to be Galway on current form.

The one common theme emerging from all team managers is that the scheduling needs tweaking, four weeks in a row for both Tipperary and Waterford, and the latter with no home game.

Surely it’s not too difficult to give at least a couple of weeks between some games?

After all, the players are amateurs and that should be factored in, but it seems a case of once again the fixture makers caring less about the players, rather ensuring the schedule is adhered to.

Cork can be very pleased with the return of four points from three games, along Limerick who are unbeaten, while Waterford and Tipperary have yet to win.

The happenings in the Gaelic Grounds on Sunday does not reflect well on the officials and every effort must be made to avoid a repeat. Officials make mistakes but given what was at stake for both teams, it should not happen.

So two rounds to go and it’s still all to play for, predicting the three teams to advance to the next phase is not easy, but I will go for Cork, Limerick and Tipperary. In what order? Let’s just wait and see.

It’s been a disappointing campaign for the Cork minors, and while Waterford’s win last week has kept them, just about, in the competition, a much improved performance will be required if they are to progress.

Interestingly, a lot of comment on how reducing the age from 18 to 17 has done little to enhance or improve the championship, a point on which I totally agree, the mind boggles sometimes at who comes up with these decisions.

Over many years the Minor Championship has produced players and games of quality, the current campaign has failed to capture the imagination of the supporters, and in my view, has not worked.

Camogie

The opening games in the group phase of the All-Ireland Senior Camogie Championship get underway this weekend, with champions Cork opening their campaign with a home game against Wexford.

Wexford are not the force they were in recent years and Cork will be fancied to begin their campaign with a win.

Of course they will be without the recently retired Rena Buckley and also Orla Cotter who is currently on honeymoon.

That said, this is a very strong side, and with Aoife Muray, Laura Treacy, Leanne O’Sullivan, Ashling Thompson, Linda Collins and the Mackey sisters Pamela and Catriona, they should win with a bit to spare.

Meanwhile the annual Mayfield Garda Under 13 Blitz takes place in Glen Rovers on Saturday.

12 teams, in two groups of six will begin at 10am, and it all culminates in a final which is scheduled for 3pm.

Over the years this has produced some great games, and if you want to see the stars of the future in action, drop in - you won’t be disappointed.

Best of luck also to the Cork representatives in the Feile Na Gael hurling and camogie finals over the weekend.

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