New generation of rebels flock to Munster final

New generation of rebels flock to Munster final

Cork fans celebrate a score for Cork during the semi-final clash with Waterford at Semple Stadium last month. Tomorrow, at 4pm, they face Clare in the Munster final.

CORK is abuzz with hurling fever ahead of the Rebels Munster Final in Semple Stadium tomorrow.

Kevin Cummins and his team in Cummins Sports have seen the excitement build in their shops.

"It has been brilliant, it has lifted the whole city," he said. "There is always such excitement around the Cork hurlers but it has been a few years since we had anything to get excited about."

The shops have almost sold out of the Cork jersey in children's sizes, such is the enthusiasm of the younger generation.

"If you saw the scenes in Semple Stadium the last day, there was a pitch invasion and it was all kids," Mr Cummins said. 

"There is a generation of Cork children who haven’t ever got to see their hurling team do well and play in finals and they are just gasping for success."

"You can see the impact straightaway. I’m going to matches in Páirc Uí Rinn in the last few weeks, club games and minor games and the place is full of kids with hurleys. That's a direct result of the inter-county lads doing well. It lifts the whole place."

Reardens bar owner Paul Montgomery agrees: "When the hurling gets going, there is nothing like it in Cork.

"The atmosphere around the place is super, you can see how important it is to the city to have Cork in a final."

There will be buses leaving his bar bright and early on Sunday morning, with Cronin's, Barry's and other operators all sending coaches packed with supporters to Semple Stadium.

There will be a particular buzz of excitement in the Glen Rovers club, with club spokesperson Mary Newman saying: "There is a big contingent going from the club, both the boys and the girls are travelling in strength."

"Bus, train or car, everyone is looking for a seat."

The club have three representatives on the senior panel plus another on the minor and having local heroes is helping inspire the next generation.

"The Tuesday after Cork beat Waterford, Stephen McDonnell, Patrick Horgan and Dean Brosnan came out on the field, back training with the club. The kids are around, they see them and they are hitting a ball in the same field as them. Robert Downey, the minor, is constantly on the field with the young lads.

"The four of them, they are always around and never in a glass case, hitting the ball back to any boy or girl who wants it.

"They are super lads, you'd hold them up as role models to any boy or girl in the club."

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