Paudie Palmer: Shane Kingston should be kept as a finisher against Limerick

Cork hurlers need strong subs to call on to have any hope against the All-Ireland champions
Paudie Palmer: Shane Kingston should be kept as a finisher against Limerick

Cork hurlers Shane Kingston, Niall O'Leary, Alan Connolly, and Patrick Horgan celebrate after beating Kilkenny. Picture: Daire Brennan/Sportsfile

IMAGINE being in possession of some negative thoughts in the aftermath of Cork hurlers climbing their 2021 Everest?

Firstly though, a sincere thanks to the Cork hurlers for giving the true believers their fix last weekend a cohort of them their Sunday opium. The fear before was that this crowd wouldn’t beat Kilkenny in Croke Park.

The way they did was inch-perfect.

Patrick Horgan, after hitting a series of sensational points, missed a 65 to finish the Cats off in normal time. Then came Tim O'Mahony's error. 

The mighty wing-back's growing influence means most would now recognise him if they bumped into him at any of the five million coffee outlets in the country. Inter-county hurlers, because of the protective headgear, have to be at the top of their game before street recognition follows.

They tell us that you can’t judge a book by its cover, but there is something about O'Mahony's facial expression that tells you he would have no problem digging out a foundation with a pick and shovel.

Kilkenny needed a goal to keep the narrative alive that the Cork hurlers don't have the right stuff, and O'Mahony's mistake led to the goal to keep the Kilkenny doubters believing in Brian Cody and the rest ready to slate the Rebels.

Remember last week, when we mentioned Kilkenny corner-backs, the challenges faced early on by the two new kids Jack O’Connor and Shane Barrett appeared to verify our belief. Before they would get away with murder, now they've to be more cautious. 

Before big games, we're often told that “(insert name) must start.” If you check back over the past few weeks, Shane Barrett was the name in the brackets. After last Sunday’s magnificent seven, insert the other Shane, Mr Kingston.

Early on in the league campaign, Diarmuid O’Sullivan was sent out to face the microphones and one of his replies went along the lines of “we have finishers now”.

Wouldn’t it be great, if those of us with an exaggerated view of our opinion, could just accept that The Rock knew what he was talking about? Would Dublin have won six All-Irelands without Kevin McManamon?

Maybe, I should rephrase and ask, would they have defeated the Kingdom as often as they did in recent years without McManamon's goals off the bench?

So over the next number of days if you come across posts and articles telling you the Kingston must start: ignore!

Alan Connolly of Cork gets past Huw Lawlor of Kilkenny at Croke Park. Picture: Piaras Ó Mídheach/Sportsfile
Alan Connolly of Cork gets past Huw Lawlor of Kilkenny at Croke Park. Picture: Piaras Ó Mídheach/Sportsfile

For a while now, the column has been somewhat exercised by the phenomenon of 'the inter-county manager and his team': John Kiely names his team for the final...

Last weekend it was taken to a new level, Kingston drops his son, Kingston brings on his son at exactly the right time, and so on. Not alone did Kingston get it so right as to who he brought on, he displayed manager of the century characteristics by not calling ashore Robert Downey, Seamus Harnedy and Jack O’Connor (I prefer the name Jack Sars). 

I am not privy as to the working of the Cork management team, actually, I am not totally appraised as to identify all the members. However, I am beyond convinced that Donal O’Grady, Ger Cunningham, and Diarmuid O’Sullivan have as much input into team selections and on-field changes as the bainisteoir.

It is even possible that a few of them could have more of a say, than the former Tracton hurler.

Cork manager Kieran Kingston during the game. Picture: INPHO/Laszlo Geczo
Cork manager Kieran Kingston during the game. Picture: INPHO/Laszlo Geczo

The next GAA media operator who implies that an inter-county manager is a fountain of all knowledge should be on the next flight to Belarus.

Now, our negative thoughts. As some of you are aware, this corner lives in a rather restricted social scene with The Sunday Game filling some of the vacuum.

Sad I know. I have always suspected that they haven’t gone away. I refer to those who many consider being in positions of influence.

It started with a humanitarian issue, no county team should have to play four weekends in a row. Really, Waterford’s demise against Limerick was the catalyst for this concern.

Just a little perspective, when Waterford were beaten by Clare on June 27, had they received the treatment meted out to 50% of the nation’s inter-county footballers, they would be no worries about the four-week humanitarian issue!

Was there mention of this inequality? Not one bit.

Then the clanger, to maintain the profile of the game, the panel, well mainly one, suggested that inter-county slice of the GAA calendar needs to be increased. Translated, let us reduce the time available to the club players.

No ifs or buts.

Well, Uachtarán Larry McCarthy, if there is the slightest suggestion from your side of the house that this scenario is even afforded discussion status, you too will be supplied with a one-way ticket to Belarus.

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