THE Cork hurlers have a clean bill of health before Sunday’s All-Ireland quarter-final with Kilkenny at Croke Park.
Daniel Kearney, who missed last Sunday’s trip to Mullingar, is back to full fitness as is Aidan Walsh, who was also marked absent from the squad for the emphatic win over Westmeath. With everybody available except for Colm Spillane who hasn’t figured at all this season, John Meyler’s management team have some big calls to make.
“It’s always difficult picking teams when you have a clean bill of health,” he told the Echo.
“We set out at the start of the year to create great competition for places and it’s turning out that way now. But that is the way it has to be, you need 20, 21 players battling for 15 places because that is the way the game is now.’”
Meyler told the Echo that he was pleased with how things had worked out.
“Look, it was a game we were always expected to win and we had a good three weeks to get ready and to get a few things better.
“They set up with two sweepers, which was something we were not used to but to end up scoring 40 points was very pleasing. It was a good blow-out from our viewpoint.”
The Cork boss is expecting a much tougher and more intense assignment on Sunday against a Kilkenny team hell-bent on reinventing themselves after the Leinster final loss to Wexford.
“It’s going to be a massive, competitive game with huge intensity. All games at this level are 50/50 and in the Leinster final, it could really have gone either way. There was just a goal in it and that’s the way it is, a chance here, a save there, that can make all the difference.
Meyler was an interested observer at the U20 game on Wednesday night when Cork qualified for the Munster final against Tipperary.
“Yes, I thought that it was a good performance. A lot of players played really well, the likes of Tommy O’Connell gave a mature performance.
“Downey and Millerick are on the senior squad and we have had a good few of the others in with us as well over the season.’’
See P46-53 for more.