Minors fail to fire against the Premier and must reboot for Limerick clash

Minors fail to fire against the Premier and must reboot for Limerick clash
Cork's goalkeeper Cian Long tries to clear his lines. Picture: INPHO/James Crombie

NOT to be for the Cork minor side yesterday as they came up against a Tipp side that had a point to prove after their loss to Limerick last week.

Playing Tipp in Thurles is never easy, just look back a year to the epic encounter between the minor sides last year when an Evan Sheehan goal in the last minute of injury-time earned Cork a draw.

That replay attracted one of the biggest crowds ever for a stand-alone minor tie, with Cork coming through only to lose in the All-Ireland final afterwards.

So heading up yesterday the Rebels knew that this was going to test this young side, and we must remember they are a year younger at minor level now, U17.

This can’t be forgotten as effectively you are talking about 16-year-olds and in some cases 15-year-olds. It’s a big ask to go out three weeks in-a-row, but it can’t be given as an excuse for their loss yesterday, as it is the same for both sides.

Home advantage has proved to be key factor so far, with all winning their respective games to date, albeit it with only two rounds gone.

But that could prove crucial yet as Cork go into next week’s game now needing a win over Limerick, who beat Tipp in round one.

And on the strength of yesterday, manager John Considine, will have a bit of work to do to get their heads right ahead of that one.

Cast your mind back a week and the Rebels had to come from behind to beat Clare as they gave away a number of early goals.

It was like Groundhog Day yesterday as they did the same thing, conceding two in the first eight minutes. And it could have been three were it not for a great save by keeper Cian Long, from a penalty by James Devanney.

With two games gone there now can be no denying there is work to be done on the defence as conceding seven goals in two games is not the type of form that is going to win you any championship.

Over the course of the 60 minutes, three of their defence were replaced, with two of these late on.

In truth, you could probably have replaced all six as they were outplayed on the day, by a very good Tipp forward line.

Of the six, only Cormac O’Brien, was of the standard required, with one or two others not that far behind to be fair to them.

But as a unit, they will need to be far more effective against Limerick, who will come into the game well rested as they were not playing this weekend.

In Paul Cooney and Olan Broderick we have two good midfielders, who despite their best efforts, could not stem the flow of attacks on the day.

Cork's Paul Cooney and Jack Morrissey of Tipperary. Picture: INPHO/James Crombie
Cork's Paul Cooney and Jack Morrissey of Tipperary. Picture: INPHO/James Crombie

As well as they played, they had no answer to the outstanding Max Hackett. This guy is a serious hurler and he dominated for long periods over the hour.

Up front, again, Cork are not bad and on the scoring charts, Tipp only got four more scores than them.

Granted they were all goals and simply next week that just can’t happen.

Again to be fair to Cork on another day they could have had a few more goals of their own, going close on a number of occasions and Aaron Browne making at least two good saves in the Tipp goal.

Sometimes you just need that little bit of luck in front of goal and it certainly wasn’t in Cork’s favour yesterday.

But they have only scored the one goal and that is a stat they will need to improve next week.

But they can still remain optimistic, especially if they can just get that little bit more out of the defence.

Sort that and the rest looks good enough to take on most sides.

But Considine has little time to do so and to turn it around in a week is a big ask of him and the players.

Now they are the ones who are in need of a win as a loss will effectively put them out of the championship. That’s a lot of pressure for them to have on their young shoulders, but the same could be said of Tipp yesterday,

They reacted in the best way to their loss to Limerick as they started with a tenacity you would expect when you are going into a game that you have to win to stay in the championship.

Now the Rebels are the ones that need to react and knowing Considine you can bet he will spend the week getting the heads right and that will probably be far more important than getting their hurling right.

There are plenty of good hurlers in this side and the likes of Shane Barrett, Eva Murphy, and Paddy Power are more than capable of causing trouble for any defence.

The half-back line is key and though Luke Horgan and Cillian O’Donovan were withdrawn yesterday they are good players and you can bet they will react in a positive way next week, assuming they are selected.

Expect a reaction from the Rebels and you can bet Limerick are in for a tough night next Saturday night.

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