ONE CLUB: As part of the GAA’s One Club initiative, Douglas GAA has combined the social media output of its men’s football, ladies football, camogie and hurling divisions. The new social media pages on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter will now be a one stop shop for news and updates from all branches of the club, both juvenile and adult. This move is part of a series of steps involved in implementing the One Club strategy. Pictured are Hannah McCarthy, Aadarsh Sinathambi, Elenor Hamilton, Jill Donegan, Chris O’ Keefe, Eimear Crowley.

Plenty of Cork teams in action

The start of the Munster Senior Hurling Championship will be watched with interest this weekend, with many predicting it’s already a done deal, such was the ease at which Limerick recently won the league title, but it’s rarely that simple.

For Cork, they will hold a watching brief as they do not enter the fray until a week later, so Pat Ryan and his team will keep a close eye on events especially in Thurles where Waterford, Cork’s opposition in round 1 play Limerick.

There’s a lot to happen before that though with several Cork teams playing important championship games.

Munster Under 20 Football Final

Cork v Kerry on Monday in Páirc Uí Chaoimh at 7.30pm

“Happy enough that we got the job done, but lots to work to do before the final,” said Cork Manager Bobby O’Dwyer after the win over Limerick.

At the time the other semi-final was still on, but Bobby was unconcerned. “We have enough to worry about our own team to work on, that’s all we can control.”

Bobby was pleased at the defence but disappointed with some areas. “Well Limerick did not score from play which was good, but at times our option taking was wrong and the final pass went astray but we will get back into training and be ready for Monday.”

All this must be judged on what was a poor Limerick side, but again that is outside Cork’s control and with Kerry getting and surviving a real test from Clare, they might know a bit more about their team and how they respond to a tough challenge.

That said conceding 4 goals will not have pleased the management and the loss of Rob Monahan to a straight red card is a blow, he had bagged 0-5 before his dismissal.

Others to impress were Willie Shine (0-10), Aaron O’Shea, Keith Evans and while he did see four goals go past him Kieran Mackessy did well enough, not helped by a defence that was easily opened up at times.

Tomás Ó Se will surely work hard to rectify those issues before facing their biggest rivals.

The majority of Cork’s scores in their win came from play with Niall Kelly, Hugh O’Connor and Olan Corcoran among the scorers, while upon his introduction Ross Corkery showed his quality with 2 lovely points and was involved in the build up to the 2nd goal.

Tommy Walsh, Liam O’Connell, Richard O’Sullivan and Jacob O’Driscoll all made big contributions.

A worry was the sight of excellent midfielder Eoghan Nash leaving the field just before half-time, hopefully as a precaution and he will be fit for the final; his presence or absence could be crucial.

With a Cork v Kerry meeting at underage level always hard to call, will the exertions of extra-time help or hinder Kerry? If Cork can replicate Clare and get goals they might win, in what is their 13th successive Munster Final appearance at this grade, let’s hope it’s not an unlucky one.

Minor Hurling Championship

Cork v Limerick on Tuesday at the Gaelic Grounds at 7pm

The results of last Tuesday night, wins for Clare and Limerick meant that they along with Cork are into the knockout phase of the championship; all that needs to be resolved is who makes the final and what will the semi-final pairing be.

To simplify matters the winners of this game make the final while the losers play Clare in the semi-final.

Cork go into this game on the back of a resounding defeat to Clare. Were it not for poor shooting, from Clare who hit 16 wides, their margin would have been much greater.

Manager Kieran Murphy had no complaints: “None at all, we were well beaten all over the field, but look the competition is round robin; we didn’t go overboard when we won, so we take this on the chin and get ready for Limerick.”

Barry Walsh might be available for this game and Limerick showed in the manner they battled for the win in Thurles that will be hard to beat.

Cork are guaranteed at least 2 more games after this outing, a Munster Final or a repeat with Clare and all round improvement will be needed if they are to extend their season beyond Munster.

Munster Under 20 Hurling Championship

Cork v Limerick on Wednesday at the Gaelic Grounds at 7.30pm

Cork will face into this game, either assured of a place in the semi-final or needing a result to maintain their push for honours, depending on how they fared against Clare last night (Wednesday).

On the evidence of their games to date, they look well capable of going a long way in this championship.

There is a nice balance to their team with quality all over the field. Darragh O’Sullivan, Eoin Downey, Shane Kingston are class in defence.

Timmy Wilk, William Buckley, Ben Cunnigham, Colin Walsh, Ross O’Sullivan and Eoin O’Leary are all showing exceptional form in the games to date.

Limerick will play Tipperary on Friday night, and will know exactly what is required if they are to harbour hopes of retaining their Munster title, an interesting few days ahead.


D2 League Final replay

There are two big games again this weekend, starting with the replay of the Very Ireland D2 League final on Saturday in the Ragg County, Tipperary at 2pm.

Cork manager Trevor Coleman speaking after the drawn game with Kilkenny said he was delighted that they have another chance. “I am really, we played poorly and could have lost, but the girls dug in and got the draw and hopefully we can improve for the next day.”

Trevor was not surprised with Kilkenny, despite having beaten them a few weeks earlier in the group stages. “They were much changed and as we all know you never get anything easy off them.”

Cork’s problem in a poor game was in attack, which as a unit really failed to function and were rescued by a last minute point from a free by the impressive Cliona O’Leary.

Defensively Cork were very good, with Niamh O’Leary, Meabh Ring and Leanne O’Sullivan excellent, Rachel Harty was the driving force in midfield and O’Leary landed some good points.

Danielle Morrissey was Kilkenny’s most dangerous player and if she is held and Cork get a better return in attack they might just shade this one, if not, they won’t win.

All-Ireland Minor semi-final

Having beaten Galway by 7 points last Sunday in the final group game, the sides will cross swords again on Sunday in Nenagh at 2pm in the semi-final of the Electric Ireland All-Ireland Minor Championship.

Cork are the reigning champions and looked in trouble when losing to Waterford in their 2nd game but they bounced back in style winning 2 and drawing their remaining games to keep their retention ambitions alive.

I assume both sides indulged in a bit of shadow boxing last Sunday knowing they could meet again at some stage in a knockout game, hardly thinking it would be a week later.

On that score, Cork might just have the edge and if Niamh McNabola, Ava Fitzgerald, Ciara Morrisson and Millie Condon re-produce the form shown in recent games, Cork should progress to final on 7 May against either Kilkenny or Waterford.

Croke Park woes continue

A 4th successive loss in a national final in HQ last Sunday will not sit easy with Senior Manager Matthew Twomey and his group of players. Given that it was Galway who inflicted this particular defeat on his team, will make it even more worrying.

Failure to beat Galway since 2017 and the fact they meet again in the opening round of the All-Ireland a concern.

As with the D2 team last Saturday, a non-functioning attack was the issue, particularly in the 2nd half - just 1 point from play tells its own tale.

Failure to convert a couple of clear goal chances is another factor and with the youngest member of the attack, Orlaith Cahalane their most effective player, with 1-1, it is hoped that area can be rectified in the coming weeks.

They will have an opportunity to do that when Waterford come to Páirc Uí Chaoimh on Sunday week for the opening game in the Munster Championship - a Waterford team that eased to the Division 1B league title and tested Cork in last year’s All-Ireland semi-final.

Footballers keeping an eye on

As they returned to training last week, John Cleary and his players will be keeping their eye on events in both the Ulster and Leinster championships this weekend.

Of particular interest will be the Ulster meetings of Cavan v Armagh and Donegal v Down, defeats for Cavan and Down will be enough for Cork to ensure they stay in the Sam Maguire Cup.

Similarly Cork will be hopping that Offaly beat Meath and Offaly on Sunday.

Whatever happens they might have a better idea of when and who they will be playing when they do get back on the field and more importantly that they avoid the Tailteann Cup.