Ian Maguire in action against Lee Cullen of Fermanagh during the Allianz Football League Division 2 match in Ederney, Fermanagh last Sunday. Cork won 1-14 to 0-16. Photo: Ben McShane/Sportsfile

Can footballers build on last week’s win?

Having finally got the win they badly needed against Fermanagh, it’s Kildare this Sunday for the footballers in another crucial game.

There’s a big game also for the ladies football team after 3 losses, while the Division 2 camogie team bid to make it 4 on the bounce when Wexford come to town.

Allianz NFL Division 2

Cork v Kildare on Sunday at Super Valu Páirc Uí Chaoimh at 3.30pm

Judging by the comments from some players in the Cork dressing room in St Joseph’s Park Ederney last Sunday, it must have been a lively place to be.

Ian Maguire said John (Cleary) “literally ate us”, while John himself said “we had some harsh words”, well whatever was said it worked - just about.

It took Cork 20 minutes to score from play in the first half, and only Brian Hurley’s free taking was keeping them in the game, before Conor Corbett clipped over 2 quality points.

The start to the second half was better and Cork quickly levelled, but Fermanagh got on top again, and looked likely winners.

Interestingly Ian (Maguire) felt they were guilty of going for goals and missing, himself included, when points might have been a better option.

As it was, a late Maurice Shanley goal got the job done, along with a couple of excellent saves by Chris Kelly.

So off the mark, can it alter their season, could one win have that much of an effect?

Manager John Cleary, hopes it can. “I felt coming up here today we should have had 4 points, after the Louth and Cavan games, but it was not the case, and so that’s what made it vital that we won, and hopefully we can build on it.”

“What we have to do is learn a few things, park it and move on to Kildare next. As I said before, there are no easy games in this group, and while they (Kildare) lost today, that might even make our job that bit harder as they will be desperate for the points.”

Cork made 4 changes to the side and they all appear to have worked, with Corbett getting some lovely points and Kevin Flahive playing well in defence.

Captain Brian Hurley also played his part, and like John was delighted with the win. “Ah yeah very important; I know we started slow, but I always felt our fitness would stand to us, and in the end it did.” But the focus is now on Kildare: “I know we won up there last year, but they will be very determined coming down so we will need to be at our best from the very start, not like today, but the win will help, but there are still a few tough games ahead.”

If Cork have had it tough, so have Kildare especially their manager Glenn Ryan and funnily enough they probably produced their best display of the campaign in their narrow defeat to Meath last week, so that might give them a boost.

They do have good players in Ben McCormack, Jack Sheridan, Mark Donnellan, Mick O’Grady and Aaron Masterson, and Cork will need to keep a close watch on these guys if they are to prevail.

The composition of the Cork will be interesting and whatever 15 is named could change before the start, but given the way the changes worked last week, the management now it would appear have a number of options at their disposal.

A few though are still vital, Hurley, the Maguires Ian and Rory, Taylor and Colm O’Callaghan.

It goes without saying that it’s another huge game, but coming off the back of an away win might just give Cork the edge and as always, it’s live on C103.

Lidl Division 1 League

Cork v Mayo on Saturday in Mallow at 2.30pm

Having lost heavily to Waterford in the last round, Cork manager Shane Roynane decided not to speak to the media present. You can understand why, for fear he might say something he would regret.

It was a game they would have been expected to win, but in truth this was done and dusted by half-time, such was Waterford’s dominance and were it not for the post, they could have had 2 more goals.

The trend was set early on as the pace of the Waterford attack ripped the Cork defence wide open, and that will be a concern as the season evolves.

To be fair, this is effectively a new team or it a team in transition, with so many of the players that backboned their success in recent years no longer there through injury or retirement.

This was compounded further with an injury to Katie Quirke which could be long term and that would be another blow and a huge loss.

There is still a lot of experienced players in the group among them Libby Coppinger, Hannah Looney, Aoife Healy who will only have this game to concentrate on, as the camogie team are on a free week.

Add in Melissa Duggan, Emma Cleary and Sadhbh O’Leary - these players will need to show leadership and guide the younger players through what is clearly a difficult period for the team.

It does not get any easier this weekend with another tough test against a Mayo side that drew with Kerry in Killarney in the last round, another loss and with Meath and Dublin to come away from home, the possibility of relegation could come into play.

Mayo were actually behind late in the game against Kerry but rescued a point when Sinead Walsh equalized. While Sinead Cafferky, Maria Cannon and Laura Brennan impressed, there is an injury doubt about All-Star Danielle Cadwell, but they look that bit better then Cork right now and on the evidence of the Kerry game, compared to Cork’s display against the same opposition, Mayo could travel back west with the win.

Very D2 Camogie League

Cork v Wexford on Saturday on Castle Road at 2pm

With 3 wins from 3, Cork are well placed to make the final of a competition they are the current holders of, and will be expected to remain unbeaten after this week.

Two of the 3 wins came away from home and with their remaining games on home soil - they play Clare in the last round - they will be confident of winning again.

The management team have mixed and matched their team throughout the league, with some members of the extended senior panel also featuring, and that should stand to them when the championship gets underway. Included in the team for this game are Katie Walsh, Ciara Morrison, Caoimhe Buckley, Edel Sheehan, Tara McCarthy and Grainne Hannon.

Wexford have only won once in this campaign beating Kilkenny but losing to Tipperary and Clare and badly need a win if they are to remain in the hunt for a place in the final, but it’s hard to see them winning this one. A Cork win looks on the cards and that would put them into the final with a game to spare.

Meanwhile the senior team dug out a narrow win over Waterford in their 2nd round game last Saturday. It was clear that the home side were set up to avoid a repeat of the All-Ireland Final hammering.

To an extent it worked, but ultimately hitting 10 wides in the 2nd half undid a lot of their good work - both sides only scoring 1 point in that half was a strange outcome.

Ger Manley was pleased with the afternoon’s work; another win, game time into players and with a two week break to the next match at home to Tipperary, it’s all moving along nicely.

If Cork can win that game, they will be well on course to make it to the league final, especially as the chasing pack all have to play one another in the concluding rounds.

Hurlers’ important win

Cork’s narrow win over Waterford sets them up nicely for their remaining games - away to Offaly on Sunday week, and then away to Wexford, where two wins could see them get the important 3rd place in the group, and with it Division 1 status for next season. Pat Ryan was delighted with the win but also conscious that after building up a comfortable lead, they faded badly and were hanging on at the end. A good two weeks of training is coming up, and the focus now will be on producing a consistent 70 minutes performance.

The only downside to last Sunday was those dreadful jerseys, where they came from I don’t know but the traditional red and white was nowhere to be seen. I understand the footballers will be wearing them on Sunday, but surely someone in a position of authority should step in and say ‘no we’re not wearing them’, we’re red and white and that is it! Somehow I don’t see it happening though.

Keep an eye

In Carrigtwohill tonight (Thursday) at 7.30pm, it’s the All-Ireland Intermediate Inter-Firm Hurling Final featuring Stryker from Cork against Unijobs from Limerick.


A relatively low-key event but a few significant developments: Cork’s motion in relation to under 20 players was passed comfortably and congratulations also to Tracey Kennedy on her election as a Trustee of CLCG.

Larry McCarthy’s term also concluded and my thanks to him for his courtesy at all times and wish him and his family all the best as his GAA journey continues back in New York, but he will always be a proud Corkman.

Jarlath Burns now leads us for the next 3 years and already he has made some telling contributions; the setting up of a Football Review Group under Jim Gavin will be watched with interest as will his desire to look at inter-county spending - “a noose around the necks of county boards,” as he phrased it.

We extend our best wishes to Jarlath as he takes up the role and how refreshing to see him remain on as secretary to his club Silverbridge, where it all starts and ends.

Paddy O’Sullivan RIP

Paddy’s passing a short few days ago brings to an end a lifelong service to his beloved Nemo Rangers, whom he served with distinction in a variety of roles, including club president.

Paddy was a mine of information and I could safely say he rarely, until recent years missed a Nemo game. I lost count of the number of times I met him in Ballinlough over the years. My last encounter with him was not long after the club won the county in ’23 and as ever, he was in great form, a thorough gent and it was a pleasure to chat with him as he recalled the final win over their great rivals St Finbarr’s.

Sincere sympathy to his wife Cathleen, and especially to his club colleagues in Nemo Rangers; may his gentle soul rest now rest in peace in the big field in the sky.