Paudie Palmer: Why do the Cork footballers suffer so many injuries?

Rebels lost Cathail O'Mahony for the championship in last weekend's win over Westmeath
Paudie Palmer: Why do the Cork footballers suffer so many injuries?

Brian Hurley of Cork is tackled by Boidu Sayeh of Westmeath at Páirc Uí Chaoimh last weekend. Picture: Eóin Noonan/Sportsfile

A thought to begin with.

What odds would you be quoted on Cavan and Tipperary retaining their respective provincial football crowns?

Probably odds longer than you would get on Edwin Poots and Mary Lou taking part in the Siege of Ennis as part of the post-match entertainment on All-Ireland hurling final day.

In case you weren’t aware, both counties were relegated at the weekend and are now Division 4 inhabitants!

Thought, I would mention that, so as to erase some of the 2020 mad football happenings from the memory stick.

With our Allianz dalliance at an end or almost at an end for 2021, are we more or less enlightened as to how the red hue will fit into the colour spectrum of championship 2021?

We will begin with the less complicated football event and possibly return to the hurling on a future date.

Prior to any forward glances, let’s us acknowledge the significance of last Saturday’s victory over Westmeath.

Regardless of the rankings of the opposition, it not too often that Cork footballers will emerge victorious over a team that posts 25 points against them.

The win first and foremost prevented this county from taking another quantum reverse leap into football thistle land and in light of a visit to that dark place two years ago, one can easily imagine the dire consequences.

For the third time, since the recommencement, Cathail O’Mahony commands some attention around these parts.

Following on from a positive showing against Clare, he began this game by firing over a few beauties. Then the radioman informed us that 'the hammer is gone'.

Cathail O'Mahony pulls up injured while chasing a long ball. Picture: INPHO/Ken Sutton
Cathail O'Mahony pulls up injured while chasing a long ball. Picture: INPHO/Ken Sutton

I am aware that this column is only a few rambling words on GAA happenings but I must confess that the word disaster flashed across the cerebral screen. For Cathail, his club and his county.

INJURY ISSUES

Maybe, my next query is well out of order, but is there an explanation as to the number of Cork players, who we are told at briefing sessions, are unavailable due to infirmary issues?

Again since recommencement, on each occasion that Kerry manager Peter Keane is asked to sit in front of the collection of microphones to divert attention from on-field green gold positive happenings, he will mention that the only statistic that matters at this time is the number waiting for medical appointments.

Would one be correct in assuming that the Rebel list is much longer than the Green and Gold one?

Cork’s next objective is to qualify for the Munster final and while not wishing to disrespect Waterford, that should mean defeating Limerick in the Gaelic Grounds on Saturday, July 10, at 3pm.

Make no mistake, this will be another serious challenge as the Treaty men are not that far removed from where Cork find themselves. 

I promised not to reference 2020 but Limerick were every bit as good if not better than Tipperary.

Every time my old neighbour Pat Spillane mentions anything about Cork football, he usually manages to annoy a certain cohort of this county’s big ball followers.

Last Sunday night, he was in front of the cameras for the highlights - there were many of Cork’s Slán Leat victory and he was fulsome of the team’s front foot approach as distinct from previous lateral tactics. Needless to say, a number of red viewers were a tad suspicious of his words of praise.

I can step in and reassure them that words for the Templenoe’s best known citizen will not be required on July 25 if the old rivals meet at the Cathedral venue at the base of the McGillicuddy Reeks.

It’s been a while since we had the privilege of mentioning club championship action and we wouldn’t be doing now either, except for the actions of last winter’s Lockdown Lords.

Cork, due to its dual code commitment, was one of the counties that bore the greatest brunt, if I could use that term, with the cancellation of a number of county finals.

The various county junior competitions were the most affected with a host of games yet to be played.

I was going to mention that this weekend should remove some of the backlog but that is not how the clubs involved will view it. 

FOND FAREWELL?

There are some mighty clashes with the top billing going to the meeting of Éire Óg and Mallow in the Senior A football final.

This one takes place at Páirc Uí Chaoimh on Saturday at 7pm.

Will it be a winning swan song for Mallow’s Cian O’Riordan who has decided that regardless of the result, he will be reverting back to spectator status?

He has given incredible service to the North Cork club over a long period of time.

Off course, he deserves to sign off with a winners medal but this is sport.

If one adopts the sentimentally approach, a strong case could be also made for one of Mid-Cork’s finest operators, Daniel Goulding, to gain possession of that elusive prize.

The two teams did meet in Round 2 last August with a four point haul from the aforementioned O’Riordan contributing in no small way to final winning scoreline of 0-14 to 0-7.

Both teams have seniors operators in their midst but the absence of Ciarán Sheehan has to be a serious loss for Éire Óg and for what it is worth, we will go with the North Cork crowd.

With all championship matches in 2021 having to finish on the day, it could very well happen that we will get a county final that will be decided on penalties.

Could this be one?

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