SUNDAY Minor HC: Clare v Cork, Cusack Park, 12pm.
THE CORK minors kept this half of the deal last weekend but unfortunately for them, Clare failed to keep the other half.
Had both won then Sunday’s game would have been a dead rubber as they would be safely through to the Munster final now.
The fact that Limerick beat Clare throws it wide open and right now who will be in the final is virtually impossible to call.
So, like last year, Cork go into their final game of the round robin series with the possibility of not making the final as much as making it, despite not having lost a match to date.
So far they have two wins and a draw and top the table and are even ahead on scoring difference, with a +15 margin. The closest to them in that regard is Clare on +6.
As Cork will be up against Clare the other remaining round-robin game between Tipperary and Limerick will be taking place at Semple Stadium.
So here are some of the possible outcomes, starting with a Cork win and a Tipp win.
That would put Cork through and leave Tipp, Clare and Limerick all on four points and the scoring difference would decide their opponents.
If Tipp and Clare win, it would also suit the Rebels, as it would see them face their opponents on Sunday again in the Munster final.
If Limerick and Clare win then Cork would be out and the aforementioned duo would be in the final.
If Cork and Limerick win then they would both go through seeing Tipp and Clare lose out.
So barring the combination of Limerick and Clare winning then Cork are in with a great chance of making the final. If you take the possibilities a step further and look at draws then most of the odds are also in the Rebels favour.
But the simplest thing for Cork to do is go win the game and then there are no equations or possibilities to contemplate, they will be in the Munster final.
That’s the easiest way to do away with all the talk about what can happen, but it’s probably the hardest one to do.
Travelling to play in Ennis is never easy and the tight ground will be a very daunting place for these young players. Have no doubt the home crowd will be in early to support their side and it will be a hostile atmosphere the young Rebels are facing into.
Last Saturday night they got their second home win of the campaign, thanks to a 0-19 to 1-13 win over Waterford, who must be credited for their performance.
They made Cork fight all the way and at half-time the sides were level. The Rebels were far from their best in that half and maybe there were a few contributing factors to this.
With young players of this age it can be difficult at times to know what their reaction will be until they take to the pitch. There looked to be a bit of complacency in the Cork side, maybe some thinking all they had to do was turn up to beat a side that hadn’t won a game yet in the championship.
That certainly wouldn’t have come from manager, John Considine, he is far too experienced to take any game for granted.
Afterwards he admitted it took the Waterford goal, five minutes before half-time, to get them going and they reacted in style to score the next three points to ensure they were level at half-time.
No doubt there were a few choice words at the break and the Rebels were a far better side afterwards.
They will need to bring that performance and up it a few levels if they are to have any chance of winning on Sunday. Cork have the firepower to win, with the likes of Darragh Flynn, Daniel Hogan and Jack Cahalane capable of troubling any defence. Ethan Twomey and Luke Horgan are as good as any midfield pairing, both scoring last Saturday night.
So there is a huge amount at stake on Sunday, but Cork can do away with all the permutations by winning the game and with a little luck secure their place in the Munster final.