IF you are looking for a Cork hurler whose effort and energy over the past number of years is second to none, look no further than Daniel Kearney.
He never fails to give the maximum, secures some very important scores and tries to make life as difficult as possible for his marker.
Last Sunday against Limerick in the Gaelic Grounds he put in another significant shift and tacked on a couple of points for good measure.
In the aftermath of the win over the All-Ireland champions he said that things are getting better with every passing game.
“Inside we know that we are working harder and that we are getting better with each match. We had a lot of fellas involved with colleges teams in the Fitzgibbon Cup and we had others out with injuries.
“We are trying to get those fellas back and to keep on improving, I think that is the main thing during the league.’’
He acknowledged that while it’s still early in the season, coming to the Gaelic Grounds and going home with the points was important.
“We knew it was going to be a very tough challenge coming down to Limerick, they are All-Ireland champions and were undefeated in the league.
“Quietly, though, we knew we had a great chance coming here. That is the case with every game and the attitude was brilliant there today.
“We fought right to the end and everybody did their job and it was great to come out on the right side of it.’’
Team boss John Meyler is leaving no stone unturned in his search for new material and the Sars club man was delighted with the contribution of newcomers Daniel Dooley from Bride Rovers and Robert Downey from the glen.
“Ya, Daniel was great, got a few points and I suppose John has tried to bring in a few new lads and Dan did very well and so did Robert Downey.
“Jack O’Connor came on as well and Cormac Murphy has been doing brilliant. Everybody that has got a chance so far has stepped up. Hopefully, it will keep on getting better and now we have Tipp next weekend and, hopefully, we’ll have a lot of work going on going into the summer.
Everything is now on the line next Sunday against the Premier County and Kearney believes that it’s impossible to predict what will happen.
“It is, people are looking for trends, looking for form. I don’t think anybody called the games correct last Summer and I don’t think anybody is calling the league games either.”
On his own current form, he’s happy enough with how things are panning out.
“Playing wing-forward and with the game changing and all of that it’s crowded in there but you are just trying to bring your own game, your own personality.
“It takes a bit of time to gel everybody together and you’ll never get that right from the off. We are still in February and that takes time, a lot of practice in training but we are getting better.
“Once we get those college lads back in we can starting better on those systems and keep on improving. It’s just the team gelling together and coming together, that is the tough part."
He believes that things will be just as difficult this summer, maybe even more so than they were last season.
“If you look back on last year, I think that the results could have gone either way. We have built up a good rivalry with Clare over the last few years and we are beginning to build one now with Limerick because we are meeting them a good few times. It’s great, we all want to be part of close games, games that you must fight to the death to win.
“You want to be challenged every day, being put under pressure and the competition is that way at the moment. The victories are sweeter then when you come out the right side of it.’’
And there was satisfaction with how they finished off against Limerick.
“We always knew that Limerick would throw everything at us in the second half and I was really happy with the way the lads reacted to that because they had a lot of the momentum for 10, 15 minutes of the half. It was good that we showed the composure to stop that momentum.’’