AS a Clareman travelling to Thurles on Sunday, I was wondering about Clare and their performance against Tipp, and the great win they had and that was only seven days ago.
Could they beat Tipperary and Cork in the space of seven days in the Munster Championship? It's not very often that Clare have beaten Tipperary and Cork in the Munster Championship over the last 50 years, I wondered would it be possible to do it within a week? I was apprehensive.
After 10 minutes it was plain to be seen that Clare were well up for this and were completely on top, scoring points from all angles. Even after 30 minutes, Clare should have been a lot further ahead than they were. While they did take some fantastic scores, they also had a lot of unnecessary wides.
As a contest you could say, it was a non-contest as Cork did not compete in any way all over the field, so easy for Clare!
Cork were a complete shambles in the first half, no energy, no one willing to take a leadership role, no one getting upset over it, and just being pushed around at will. Looking up behind me in the press box I could see the Cork stats team looking pale as ghosts. The question I have to ask is 'what are all the stats for?'
It was obvious to me what Cork were lacking, as it was to everyone in the grounds. I'm sure some managers do stats but it's not their main priority. Key for me is to win your own ball and get on top of your opposition.
It's not how many times you handpass the ball. Or zonal defence. Or making three passes when one is enough.
In my opinion, Cork are relying too much on that information off the field, instead of making things happen on the field. That was very evident in Thurles for everyone to see.
The team is clearly lacking leadership, not showing determination and of course being too soft in their approach, being bullied. Everyone loves a team with heart and willingness to sacrifice themselves for every ball.
Cork always had that and had it in abundance, but unfortunately it is not in this team. Or if it is then Kieran Kingston and his management team are not getting it out of them.
I would say to Kieran, never take any notice of criticism. There is only ever one answer to that and that is on the field of play. Everyone gets criticised, management and players, it's par for the course.
How many Cork players would get on this Clare team now? Not too many.
Again most of the Cork defenders were too far off their men, giving them too much space. Cathal Malone and especially Ryan Taylor dominated midfield, scoring five points between them. That is a massive return but it was their work-rate that stood out.
Diarmuid Ryan in defence was outstanding with great help from the terrier Rory Hayes and Paul Flanagan. This trio were completely dominant.
A big plus was that some of their main men, Shane O'Donnell and Peter Duggan, were not on top of their game. Tony Kelly doesn't look fully fit but will only get better. I'm sure Brian Lohan will be looking for more.
The management won't allow the players to get carried away either.
Cork play Waterford next. They have a chance, although not many Cork people believe that. They must start playing with more freedom.
Or maybe management should give them more freedom to express themselves, and see if they are good enough. Just let it rip, have a go, express themselves, fight on their backs if necessary, get that Cork public back on side.
After all, they did score 2-20 in this game despite hurling so badly.
If they really concentrated how much more could have been done?