Keith Ricken: Cork U20 footballers won't be complacent facing Tipp

Rebels go with the same side for Munster U20 football final on Thursday night, after rousing win over Kerry last week
Keith Ricken: Cork U20 footballers won't be complacent facing Tipp

Cork captain Brian Hayes in action against Dan Murphy of Kerry during the semi-final at Pairc Ui Chaoimh. Photo by Matt Browne/Sportsfile

CORK name an unchanged team to face Tipperary in the Munster U20 football final in Thurles on Thursday at 7.30.

It includes captain Brian Hayes and Jack Cahalane who played with U20 hurlers on Tuesday as well as Diarmaid Phelan and Conor O’Hanlon who were injured in the semi-final win over Kerry a week ago.

Manager Keith Ricken is keeping his fingers crossed that his two dual players will have no ill effects.

“We had a recovery session on Saturday and trained again on Monday. Both were light sessions, but it was great to get the bodies back in line once more,” he said.

Cork are strong favourites to lift the first silverware in football in the province and Ricken is guarding against any complacency.

“While delighted with the win, the lads acknowledged they dug a hole for themselves though managed to get out of it in the end. They are conscious of that and we’re also lucky to have played Tipp in a practice game four or five weeks ago.

“It was a very tight game and the players know there’s another good game on the cards.

“There will be no complacency. I think they will be very focused and that’s the evidence I’m gathering from everything we’re doing.

“They will be tuned in because they’ve worked very hard and their attitude is good.

“A lot of them have been on the go for the last years in different grades and they know Tipperary have good footballers.

“The standard across Munster is on the up and there’s parity at a lot of levels. I don’t think complacency will be an issue.” 

Keith Ricken. Picture: Eddie O'Hare
Keith Ricken. Picture: Eddie O'Hare

Ricken got involved with Tipp minors with Michael Power, father of senior manager David, back in the 90s and understands the set-up.

“It’s well organised and they have a passion football. I know a lot of the football people in the county fight their own battles as well.

“Kevin Mulryan was one of the players back then and he’s a selector this year. He does good work with LIT as well and Tipp will be well organised.

Paddy Christie is the manager and David Power is also involved.

“They’re out of the senior championship so they’ve had more time to work with the team.” 

IMPRESSIVE

Cork impressed in their gripping 3-12 to 3-11 win over Kerry, when substitute Ciaran O’Sullivan popped up with the winning point in injury-time.

They’ll hope injuries to Phelan and O’Hanlon clear up in time and that the effects of a very physical game in demanding weather conditions will also wear off.

Aghada’s Phelan was immense throughout. Selected at full-back, he followed danger-man Paul O’Shea out to the ’40, where Phelan’s magnificent tackling set the standard.

Hayes led by example as skipper and was a major figure at midfield alongside Niall Hartnett, who worked himself to a standstill while Conor Corbett, Cahalane and David Buckley combined for 3-7.

Tipp have the benefit of having played twice already this term and both were at home at Semple Stadium which should ensure familiarity with the surroundings on what is sure to be another melting evening.

Tipp won their first game in the U21/U20 grouping in six years with a fully merited 0-16 to 1-10 win over Limerick in the first round.

The Premier were full value for their success and the scoreline flattered Limerick, whose goal came near the finish.

Sean O’Connor and Barry Kehoe shared 0-11 between them with O’Connor finishing on 0-7, five frees, and Kehoe 0-4 from play.

Waterford provided much sterner opposition in a game that went to the wire.

Tipp held the minimum lead, when Waterford created a couple of goal-scoring chances in quick succession, but couldn’t capitalise, allowing the home side to add a late point in a 0-11 to 0-9 triumph.

CORK: G Creedon (Kilshannig); C O’Donovan (Newcestown), D Phelan (Aghada), C McGoldrick (Eire Og); A Walsh-Murphy (Valley Rovers), T Walsh (Kanturk), D Cashman (Millstreet); B Hayes (St Finbarr’s), captain, E Cooke (Ballincollig); C Corbett (Clyda Rovers), J Cahalane (St Finbarr’s), N Hartnett (Douglas); D Dorgan (Ballincollig), C Walsh (Kanturk), D Buckley (Newcestown).

Subs: C O’Leary (Douglas), N Lordan (Ballinora), D Holland (Argideen Rangers), L Horgan (Nemo Rangers), C O’Sullivan (Kilshannig), E Nash (Douglas), S O’Sullivan (Adrigole), C O’Hanlon (Buttevant), S McDonnell (Mallow).

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