The Tony Considine column: All these basic errors must be eliminated by Rebels

The Tony Considine column: All these basic errors must be eliminated by Rebels
Cork's Colm Spillane and Pat Ryan of Limerick. Picture: INPHO/James Crombie

ON my way into this game, I met two players of the past, the great Nicky English of Tipperary, and that man that brought a new dimension to full-forward play, the great Ray Cummins of Cork.

I was just wondering if they would be able to score as many goals now as they did in their playing days, or would the modern coaching take that freedom and killer instinct out of them? Would they outclass the defensive structures that the present game has?

I think they would, as a good goal scorer would be good in any era, they would find a way around it.

After leaving these two greats, I wondered if we would see many goals? It was a perfect evening for hurling.

How lucky we were to be in a fantastic stadium on a beautiful evening with nearly 35,000 people in attendance, but above all, with two outstanding and honest teams, giving their all in every aspect of the game. No one was ducking or diving: pure raw courage. No one was getting carried away with themselves. No one was earning big money at the end of the week for this.

What fantastic young men we have who entertain us like this - every last drop of sweat for the cause, maybe some blood as well! Is there any game like it in the world? Maybe I’m a bit biased here, but I think not. There never will be a game like it, and the beauty is.. we invented it. It’s completely our own.

To John Kiely and John Meyler. Ye should be very proud of these wonderful guys taking to the field. As leaders, ye have played a very important role in that.

No antics on the sideline from either manager, just driving their team on with passion and fire, and their players responded magnificently, in the pressure cooker environment. But, like all human beings, there will be mistakes made, by players and management.

I believe Cork made mistakes off the field in this one. Namely taking Sean O’Donoghue off at halftime if he was not injured - I know he was already booked, and with another booking, he would be off, but I think you cant be afraid of things like that in this game.

In my opinion I would have left him on the field as he was playing very well. I believe it completely unsettled the Cork defence when he was not there in the second half.

Limerick's Tom Morrissey goes past Cork's Christopher Joyce. Picture: Eddie O'Hare
Limerick's Tom Morrissey goes past Cork's Christopher Joyce. Picture: Eddie O'Hare

And no one became unsettled more, than Damien Cahalane - he became totally unsure of himself and got a right roasting from Seamus Flanagan. He looked very nervous in everything he did. I thought the mentors should have done him a favour and taken him off, as they had a ready-made replacement in Eoin Cadogan, who would have relished the challenge and would have something to prove as well.

I also think Cork could have used their subs a lot sooner. They brought two on at half-time, Tim O’Mahony and Luke Meade, but I cannot understand bringing on subs so late in a game. I think really with 20 minutes to go, Cork needed some fresh legs on such a warm evening as well.

It was very visible that some of the Cork players were tiring - especially some of their big players. But the one big player that wasn’t fading was, the brilliant Patrick Horgan.

Horgan scores a goal against Limerick. Picture: INPHO/James Crombie
Horgan scores a goal against Limerick. Picture: INPHO/James Crombie

Surely he must be a shoo-in for an All-Star, even at this early stage of the year!

Only for his outstanding contribution, both from frees and play, Cork would not have salvaged anything out of this game.

Also a great contribution from Darragh Fitzgibbon in the middle of the field, but his partner, Bill Cooper was not as effective. A big return here from Limerick’s midfielders, Darragh O’Donovan and Cian Lynch, who got five points between them.

Along with Flanagan and Tom Morrissey, Cork found it very hard to cope with these players. Cork going back to old failings in their defence... overplaying the ball. In my estimation Limerick got eight points from mistakes.

Mark Coleman and Graeme Mulcahy tangle as linesman Paud O'Dwyer looks on. Picture: Piaras Ó Mídheach/Sportsfile
Mark Coleman and Graeme Mulcahy tangle as linesman Paud O'Dwyer looks on. Picture: Piaras Ó Mídheach/Sportsfile

Mark Coleman should not be getting involved in the over-physical stakes. Mark is a very young man and a very skillful player. Getting upset over losing a ball like he did when Graham Mulcahy tackled him when he had plenty of time to clear his lines, proved that. It swung momentum to Limerick.

And coming back to my early thoughts on goals.... we were lucky to see one from Horgan, set up by Seamus Harnedy, who struggled during this game. The only other real goal chance in the game was a terrible miss by Pat Ryan of Limerick. You didn’t have to be a Ray Cummins or a Nicky English to score that one!

Pat Ryan of Limerick misses a late goal chance. Picture: Piaras Ó Mídheach/Sportsfile
Pat Ryan of Limerick misses a late goal chance. Picture: Piaras Ó Mídheach/Sportsfile

A lot of talk by supporters while leaving the grounds. They were pondering the possibility of seeing these two again in the Munster final! But there is a lot of hurling to be played out yet.

I’m sure John Meyler will be glad of the week off. They must eliminate mistakes, especially in defence.

John Kiely knows that if Limerick beat Waterford, they are in a Munster Final. That’s for another day.

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