Three young hurlers who stood out for Cork against Westmeath

Denis Hurley looks at the rookies who took their chance in the league win 
Three young hurlers who stood out for Cork against Westmeath

Cork's Alan Connolly celebrates his opening goal against Westmeath. Picture: Eddie O'Hare

1. Alan Connolly:

Three league outings, two as a sub and one start, have now yielded four goals and two points for the Blackrock man, who hasn’t looked out of place on the inter-county scene. 

His two goals yesterday showcased different sides of his attacking talent – the first he slotted home well from Daire Connery’s pass while the second was evidence of quick thinking as debutant Simon Kennefick played a nice ball across from the left corner and Connolly was able to touch it home.

2. Ger Collins:

A debut in goal for the Ballinhassig man, brother of first-choice keeper Patrick.

Ger Collins. Picture: Eóin Noonan/Sportsfile
Ger Collins. Picture: Eóin Noonan/Sportsfile

And while he was never going to overworked, the very fact that he had a quiet station for most of proceedings underlines his concentration levels when called upon, dealing well with anything which came into his vicinity and saving a Ciarán Doyle shot which was the closest thing Westmeath had to a goal chance.

3. Daire Connery:

Having come on at left half-back against Tipperary, the Na Piarsaigh man was given a start at midfield alongside Darragh Fitzgibbon and contributed three points, including two frees after captain Patrick Horgan had been brought off, as well as assisting others. 

The midfield options Cork have revolve around players who also do jobs elsewhere, with Fitzgibbon often used at half-forward while Tim O’Mahony and Mark Coleman can function just as well at half-back, like Connery. 

This fluidity is important in terms of the style of play and Connery should feature more prominently as the year goes on.

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