CORK U20 hurling captain James Keating feels his side will need no motivation when they take on Tipperary in the All-Ireland final.
That game has been fixed for the end of the month in the Gaelic Grounds, Limerick. Throw-in on Saturday, August 24 is at 6pm, where Tipp could be going for a senior and U20 double should they defeat Kilkenny in the main event at Croker on Sunday week.
Liam Cahill’s U20 beat Cork in this year’s Munster final with a last-gasp goal while last season’s All-Ireland U21 decider, which also took place in Limerick, saw the Premier pull off a huge upset.
“We can’t wait to get another crack at Tipperary because since the Munster final now we just can’t wait to get back out," said Keating.
“Maybe that will line us up nicely now. We won’t need any motivating, no talking before going into it. Our heads will be focused and hopefully we can finish it off,” said the Rebel full-back who has been one of Cork's most consistent performers.
He felt the main difference between the victory over Kilkenny last weekend and the Munster final was the work-rate of the whole panel.
“To be honest I thought the work-rate in the forwards was up 10 times from the last day. It makes a back’s life so much easier. The Kilkenny backs just couldn’t come out with the ball and give quality ball in so fair play to our forwards, the work-rate was unbelievable.”
Keating said his side were told to avoid the concession of goals at all costs.
“Yeah, I suppose all our backs were told get back to the D, no goals, pull a man down if you have to, I suppose,” said the Cork captain.
Kilkenny only scored 0-13 throughout the match and this was the first championship game all year that DJ Carey’s side failed to find the net.
The Kildorrery native explained Cork parked their Munster defeat instantly and went straight into recovery and focusing on the next game.
“We’re obviously delighted. The Munster final’s obviously sickening but straight away we went into recovery session the next day and everyone was focused.
“We knew we had to put in a performance,” said the Kildorrery player.
Keating is set to captain Cork in the inaugural All-Ireland U20 hurling final. Last year the grade was U21, but it has since adjusted in line with the football.
He wore the number six jersey when Cork lost out to Galway in the 2017 minor final.
The powerful full-back has been motivated to win an All-Ireland title ever since losing to Galway in the 2017 decider and is honoured to be captaining his county.
“Yeah, it’s a great honour to be captain. I suppose we lost the minor All-Ireland final.
“Since then we’ve been totally motivated to try and make up for this. The next three weeks we just need to get our heads down and get focused again,” he said.