Eoghan McSweeney score his side’s goal despite the efforts of Dublin goalkeeper David O’Hanlon during the Allianz Football League Division Two match at Páirc Ui Chaoimh last Sunday. Photo: Eóin Noonan/Sportsfile

Double-header down the Páirc

It’s a really busy weekend with 5 Cork teams in action where wins will keep them on track for progression from the group stages, the exception is the Ladies Footballers whose chances probably went with the loss to Galway last Sunday.

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Cork v Westmeath on Sunday in Páirc Uí Chaoimh at 1.45pm

With wins over Limerick and Galway, the visit of the midlanders to the Páirc for round 3 suggests Cork will make it three from three and got a step closer to securing a semi-final spot.

After the win over Galway, both Pat Ryan and Conor Lehane were delighted with the win especially given that the injury list has grown, with Lehane himself now doubtful for Sunday.

In that game the Midleton man was in top form, scoring 2 cracking goals. “It went well but overall the workrate of the lads all over the field was key. This venue (Salthill) is a hard place to come and Galway are a very good team as they showed by the way they came strong in the last quarter.”

“We came up here to win and we are delighted that we did, but for now it’s back to training on Tuesday work on the mistakes we made and go again.”

Manager Pat Ryan was delighted with the effort: “Great result and even more so when you consider that we lost a few (3) players through injury before the game, but that is the beauty of the panel - everyone is fighting for their place.”

What pleased the manager most was “the application all over the field it was excellent, like every game we made mistakes, but the lads never panicked kept doing the basic and simple things well and got the result we came up here for”.

As for Westmeath on Sunday: “We will give them the respect they deserve, take nothing for granted prepare as we do for every game, look at the injury situation and hope to win and that will put us closer to a place in the semi-final, which was the objective at the outset of the league.”

Pat was also delighted that the depth of the panel is been tested. “We are getting game time into a lot of players, conscious that some lads playing 3rd level need to be managed carefully, but we are happy where we at and with 2 home games to come that is something to look forward to.”

Cork have beaten Westmeath comfortably in their most recent meetings and that is unlikely to change on Sunday.

They lost to Clare 4-27 to 0-14 in the first round, and then went under to Wexford on a 2-23 to 1-15 scoreline - a clear indication that they are a bit out of their depth at this level.

The composition of the Cork team will be dictated by the injury situation but the management my use this game to once again test the depth of the squad.

Brian Hayes, Cathal Cormack, Conor Cahalane, Padraig Power, Colin Walsh and Niall O’Leary might all start, but whatever 15 gets the nod, Cork will win and with a bit to spare.

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Cork v Limerick on Sunday in Páirc Uí Chaoimh at 3.45pm

“I was annoyed that I put myself in that position and not be on the field and to try and see the game out, but it’s done and now we move on and focus on the Limerick game,” said Ian Maguire about his controversial dismissal last Sunday.

Ian while disappointed at the loss said the team are going in the right direction. “We set out to win every game and we are not happy when we lose, but as John (Cleary) keeps saying, there are 7 games in this division and every one of them is tough, so now it’s back to training and we go again.”

Having played so well against Dublin, the key now is to back up with a win and keep them in the hunt for promotion, which might be a bit beyond them now.

“Everyone knows that Division 2 is very competitive and while the objective is to get promotion, if we don’t achieve that, we must remain focussed and keeping ourselves in the hunt right up to the last game, and ensure we make the Sam Maguire Cup before the championship.”

Limerick are familiar opponents: “We played them in the championship last year and a few weeks ago in the McGrath Cup and while we won both, they are a hard team to beat. They might not have won any games so far, that will make them dangerous.”

Sunday’s performance was excellent and the game was spoiled by some poor refereeing decisions, that aside Cork will look at some areas that will need improving.

Defensively they did not concede a goal, and they never looked doing so, but the Dublin forwards did pick up a couple of handy points, tighter marking might have denied them the opportunities.

11 wides was also a factor, 7 in the 1st half wind assisted, while only 2 forwards scored from play, Eoghan McSweeney and Brian Hurley, with the latter turning in a brilliant display and nearly won

the game at the death, he really benefitted from good fast quality ball.

Get the same supply on Sunday and Limerick could be in for a tough afternoon.

Steven Sherlock, had a rare off day, but he is a quality player and will bounce back, while Chris Óg Jones and Sean Powter worked hard, but is the Douglas player in his best position?

Mattie Taylor took his goal with aplomb while Maurice Shanley and Daniel O’Mahoney are bedding down nicely.

Limerick lost to Louth last Sunday and will be keen to open their account.

Cork will want to build on the display against Dublin and back it up with a win. When the sides met in the McGrath Cup Final, Cork were comfortable winners, only the concession of 2 goals kept Limerick in touch. Cork will hope to keep another clean sheet, do that and they should win.

Cork go to Ennis in the next round, Clare play Dublin in Croke Park on Saturday, so a win would put them in good shape for that trip.

Both games on Sunday are live on C103 and also both Cork teams will wear specially commissioned jerseys in support of Cork ARC Cancer Support House, great cause and well done on this initiative.

Special premium tickets are also available, which includes a meal and complimentary drink included are available, and contact Páirc Uí Chaoimh for details.


Two Cork teams are in action on Saturday in the Very Ireland National League.

In D2, Cork play Tipperary in Church Road at 1pm. The league has been restructured this year, with the second teams of counties all grouped together.

Cork had an exciting campaign last year but a number of players that featured for a variety of reasons are unavailable for the early games, that said they should have a greater spread of players than Tipperary and look good enough to make a winning start.

Páirc Uí Rinn at 3pm is the venue for the D1 meeting of Cork and Clare and this has the makings of an interesting encounter.

The sides met 3 times last year, Cork won all 3, but one in particular stood out - the Munster Championship clash that took 4 periods of extra-time to resolve, so Cork know what to expect.

Manager Matthew Twomey is aware of that. “We had great battles last year and this one will be no different, we have a few injuries but we are happy where we are right now and looking forward to the game.”

Clare had a huge win over Kilkenny and with Tipperary beating Galway, who play one another this weekend. With only the top 2 going to the final, one of the favourites could be down 4 or 3 points if it’s a draw after two rounds, which will make it hard for them to make the final, so a Cork win would strengthen their position even this early in the campaign.

Cork easily disposed of a very poor Dublin side, but Matthew was a bit disappointed by the 2nd half display, but did make the point that they made a raft of changes which upset the flow of the game.

Amy O’Connor, Meabh Cahalane, Pamela Mackey, Cliona Healy, Emma Murphy and Ali Smith all made telling contributions.

Clare will travel in confident mood on the back of their win over Kilkenny, but Cork should prevail.

One matter that really upset Matthew is the timing of the All-Star tour to Canada which is due to conclude a week before the 1st round of the championship, the draws for which have yet to be made.

The possibility of deferring the 1st round by a week is been looked at, but taking 7 players from Cork away for a week, add in the travel involved, the time difference and the obvious desire to have a bit of enjoyment is not ideal, and those behind it should surely have opted for a more suitable to time for this tour to take place.

Several managers have expressed their annoyance, they were not consulted on the matter, and the GPA who initially welcomed the tour are now taking the matter up with the Camogie Association on behalf of the players. It should be said an All-Star tour is a forward step, but the timing is all wrong.

Ladies Football

The 2 point loss to Galway last weekend probably ended Cork’s chances of making the final so when Donegal come to Mallow on Sunday at 12pm, Shane Roynane might take the opportunity to see how the panel is shaping up ahead of the championship.

Shane will of course be conscious that with games against unbeaten Kerry and All-Ireland champions Meath to come, that he will not want to get dragged into a relegation battle and that too will shape his selection; he will also be anxious to get a win to build confidence for a tough run-in.