Steven Sherlock and Brian Hurley combo would sizzle for the Cork footballers

Barrs ace Sherlock has 3-34 this season while Hurley hit 4-29: it's pity they never got the chance to shine together for Cork argues Mark Woods
Steven Sherlock and Brian Hurley combo would sizzle for the Cork footballers

Steven Sherlock was bang on form for the Barrs against Castlehaven. Picture: Larry Cummins

CORK fans are already rubbing their hands at the prospect of Brian Hurley and Steven Sherlock forming part of the attack under new manager Keith Ricken’s stewardship.

Of course, the question will be asked as to whether they can fit into the modern system where knocking over points or slamming in goals are just part of the modus operandi of the current forward.

The simple answer is ‘why not’? And there is only one way to find out and that is playing the county’s leading sharpshooters and see how it shapes up.

The Castlehaven ace is one of the well-established players on the inter-county scene while his St Finbarr’s rival has been tried before without too much success.

Brian Hurley lands a point for Castlehaven. Picture: Larry Cummins
Brian Hurley lands a point for Castlehaven. Picture: Larry Cummins

But, on the basis of the club season about to reach a crescendo and indeed in recent campaigns, too, Sherlock had done all and more asked of him by the Barrs management.

And how important is Sherlock to the cause? Put it this way it’s not stretching the imagination any bit to place him in the same bracket as Patrick Horgan for Glen Rovers in hurling.

Sherlock, too, has time on his side and at 24, arguably, his best days are in front of him, though, you’d wonder how can he improve on the basis of what we’ve seen in 2021?

What the Barrs sharpshooter has shown not only in the current championship but in other campaigns, too, is a level of consistency in both scoring returns and work-rate off the ball.

It’s almost standard fare now that Sherlock will be the team’s leading scorer in all their matches, further evidence of his lethal finishing ability.

He scored 0-7 against Ballincollig, 0-5 against Ilen Rovers, 1-2 against county final opponents Clonakilty in qualifying, 0-10 in the quarter-final win over Éire Óg and topped it all by claiming 2-10 against the Haven.

In addition, Sherlock took the fourth penalty in that dramatic shoot-out, capitalising fully on keeper John Kerins saving the Havens kick to edge the Barrs 4-3.

And while Michael Hurley showed impressive strength of nerve to level matters once again, Kerins was just as cool in converting the winner.

Sherlock’s closing three points in extra-time to force penalties almost overshadowed a critical moment, when he helped turn possession his side’s way out around halfway which led to one of his scores.

He’s on course to be the championship’s leading scorer with 3-34 to his name, just a couple of points in front of Brian Hurley, whose 4-29 underlines his scoring prowess, too.

Clon’s Dara Ó Sé occupies third spot on 2-25 and both he and Sherlock will surely add to their tallies in Sunday week’s final.

Leading scorers in the county PSFC

1. Steven Sherlock (St Finbarr’s): 3-34 (0-13 f, 0-4 45).

2. Brian Hurley (Castlehaven): 4-29 (0-10 f, 0-2 45, 0-1 m).

3. Dara Ó Sé (Clonakilty) 2-25: (0-19 f).

4. Daniel Goulding (Éire Óg): 0-22 (0-14 f, 0-2 45).

5. Brian Crowley (Valley Rovers): 1-16 (0-11 f).

6. Cian Dorgan (Ballincollig) 0-17 (0-9 f, 0-2 45, 0-1 m).

7. Luke Connolly (Nemo Rangers) 2-10 (0-5 f).

8. Michael Hurley (Castlehaven) 2-8 (0-1 f); Alan O’Hare (Douglas) 1-11 (1-0 pen, 0-4 f, 0-1 45); Conor Russell (Douglas) 0-14 (0-7 f.)

Meanwhile, not only will there be a changing of the guard in the Munster Club Championship but in the All-Ireland equivalent as well.

With Nemo Rangers relinquishing their grip on the provincial title down south, Corofin from Galway must hand back the Andy Merrigan Cup following their defeat in the county final.

The Munster championship is gradually being whittled down with Newcastle West champions in Limerick, Éire Óg, Ennis, the kingpins in Clare and Tipperary also at the final stage.

There, Clonmel Commercials are hot favourites to deny Loughmore-Castleiney, who are also involved in a hurling final replay.

The Kerry semi-finals are this weekend with Austin Stacks fancied to get the better of the north Kerry representative side, St Brendan’s, and Dr Croke’s favoured to overcome Kerins O’Rahillys.

Dublin’s Kilmacud Crokes and Tyrone’s Dromore are the joint-favourites for the All-Ireland.

The betting is: 7/2 Kilmacud Crokes and Dromore; 15/2 Mountbellew/Moylough; 12/1 Knockmore, St Jude’s and Austin Stacks; 14/1 Scotstown, Dr Croke’s and Dromore; 16/1 Padraig Pearses; 20/1 St Finbarr’s and Portarlington; 33/1 St Columba’s; 50/1 Naomh Martin, Clann Eireann, Clonmel Commercials and St Eunan’s.

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