IT’S only natural that the performances of Cork players in any club championship outing are the main concern for the average supporter.
The good news from Riverstown last Saturday night was that Seamus Harnedy looked razor sharp for a clinical Imokilly side that were 2-26 to 0-12 victors over Bishopstown. Brian Lawton hurled well too in the second half, pulling the strings from midfield having missed much of Cork’s league campaign through injury.
Wing-forward Harnedy chipped in with 0-4 from play and a quota of puck-outs wins and assists to boot. He had ample assistance from Aghada’s Will Leahy, scorer of 0-11, Paudie O’Sullivan, who was simply sublime at times when firing in 1-3, and sub Billy Dunne, the Cork U21 rifling 0-4.
Though Town struggled throughout the second half, Imokilly still looked like a team that will take some beating. Harnedy is around long enough to know a 20-point first round win won’t count for anything if the division can’t push deep into the championship.
“I wouldn’t read anything into a first round game. We got a few breaks after halftime and they found it hard to get back into it.
Bishopstown know themselves they didn’t play to their powers, they’ll be back because they were in the county final a few years ago and they’re not a bad team overnight.
“First rounds nowadays have very little relevance. We know that.”
At the same he enjoyed his evening in Riverstown, hurling a level below inter-county but without the same pressure attached to lining out for his club St Ita’s. It’s exactly what makes a division so dangerous.
“All the young lads have been buying into playing with the division because you can go out and half a cut. A lot of the lads showed up very well, there’s a nice conveyor belt of talent in the division but one stumbling block can catch. Last year a last-second goal was a sucker punch and we were out of the championship. It only takes one bad game and you’re gone.”
With his father Seán a selector, there’s little chance he’ll get away with slacking off in the Imokilly colours.
“The old man makes his voice heard alright! It keeps you on your toes but it’s good to get you up for a game, it’s a bit of craic.”
From here it’s the countdown to Munster championship and Tipp on May 20.
“There’s no beating a championship game. They’ll always outdo a championship game in terms of benefits. I was happy to get that 55 minutes under my belt. I’m looking forward to getting back into training on Tuesday night. The next two weeks are huge and the championship rolls around year on year so, so quick. We’re under no illusions, heading up to Thurles, but we’ve a young squad and everyone is looking forward to it. There’s a good buzz around so it’s up to us to give it everything now.”