Cork v Limerick: Teddy McCarthy on the changes hurlers must make for Páirc clash

'You might chance playing Rob Downey and Timmy O’Mahony down the middle but we have got to get it right against Limerick.'
Cork v Limerick: Teddy McCarthy on the changes hurlers must make for Páirc clash

Cork’s Robert Downey gathers possession ahead of Kilkenny’s Padraig Walsh. Will he start at full-back for the Munster Championship? Picture: INPHO/Ken Sutton

THERE was huge disappointment in the Cork GAA fraternity following the recent defeat to Waterford in the league final. 

However, Leeside legend Teddy McCarthy believes that chapter is now firmly closed as the Rebels get ready to face Limerick in the Munster championship on Sunday.

“Personally, I thought it was an excellent league campaign but obviously the final was a below-par performance but on the other side of the coin many teams would like to be in the position of preparation that we are in right now.

“Technically, the league is all about getting players up to speed, rotated and although reaching the final was great. The performance on the day didn’t reach the standard we would hoped for from the team, but now it’s time to put it right for the Limerick game."

The former dual All-Ireland winner has been worried about the Cork defence and feels they will need to be sharper for Limerick.

“We are scoring well, but when you leak four goals at this level you seldom win games, and when you think four forwards were taken off in the final, you wonder what was the thinking behind those substitutions?"

Cork's Shane Kingston has a shot on goal against Waterford that hit the sidenetting. Picture: INPHO/Ken Sutton
Cork's Shane Kingston has a shot on goal against Waterford that hit the sidenetting. Picture: INPHO/Ken Sutton

He's concerned about two positions in the squad.

“We have a problem at full- and centre-back and when you think we leaked three goals in the All-Ireland final and now four in the National League decider it tells me when you come up against a team that have their homework done on Cork and how they like to play, it can prove very difficult.” 

ADVANTAGE

Despite those issues, McCarthy believes they will have an advantage over Limerick going into this game.

“I am confident the tough league games will stand to Cork as Limerick are going into this game cold.” 

The pressure on the Cork management to erase the errors made against the Déise but making radical changes will not be good for team morale, though he feels captain Mark Coleman isn't suited to number six.

“We haven’t become a bad team overnight so let’s take a deep breath because maybe one or two switches could make us a far better team.

“Four of our management team actually played at the back for Cork and I don’t think they need to be told how to stop the rot in the art of defending.” 

Mark Coleman needs to come out of centre-back and the selectors might just play him at centre field or wing-back and let me add he is a quality hurler but not suited to that position from what I have seen.

"You might chance playing Rob Downey and Timmy O’Mahony down the middle but we have got to get it right against Limerick.” 

Cork GAA legends Larry Tompkins, Teddy McCarthy and Tomás Mulcahy at the launch of the shirt from Suits Distributors, honouring the 30th anniversary of the double.
Cork GAA legends Larry Tompkins, Teddy McCarthy and Tomás Mulcahy at the launch of the shirt from Suits Distributors, honouring the 30th anniversary of the double.

Outside of the champions, Waterford have served noticed of their class.

“We all know that Waterford is a strong hurling county with the return of Tadgh de Burca, who is brilliant hurler, but for me what Liam Cahill has built is a good hurling panel something that over the years they have lacked.” 

Sunday’s game is crucial for Cork to win and McCarthy believes despite the league loss they can bounce back.

“The lads are quality athletes and to be fair they have the ability to compete with the best and hopefully if we defend as we can defend, there is no reason why we should fear Limerick on our home soil.”

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