DESPITE all the furore over the venue for Saturday’s Cork-Kerry Munster semi-final, it won’t be the first time Páirc Uí Rinn has housed a senior championship encounter.
Indeed, this will be the third game at the Boreenmanna Road ground, which created history, when Cork met Clare in the semi-final on June 14, 2015.
Work had just started on the redevelopment of Páirc Uí Chaoimh, which meant the hurlers rehoused in Thurles and the footballers dispatched up the road to Páirc Uí Rinn.
Cork excelled in winning by 1-20 to 1-8 and the shirt-sleeved crowd of almost 4,500 marvelled in the main at the many positive elements of Cork’s play.
It came against the backdrop of the 2014 championship, when a highly-fancied Cork side struggled to get past dogged Tipperary by two points before Kerry ran a drag with them in the final.
There was much to admire in Cork’s display, starting with the variation and success in Ken O’Halloran’s kick-outs.
And then there was the near surgical precision in which Cork opened up a heavily-populated Clare rear-guard for the inside line of Colm O’Neill, Brian Hurley and Donncha O’Connor to cause havoc.
Between them they accounted for 1-11 with Cork supplying eight different scorers on the night.
Castlehaven’s Hurley will skipper Cork on Saturday while James Loughrey (Mallow), who figured at left corner-back, is a selector this season.
D O’Connor 1-5 (1-0 pen, 0-3 f), C O’Neill 0-5 (0-4 f), Brian O’Driscoll, M Collins, P Kerrigan 0-2 each, J Hayes 0-2 (0-1 f), B Hurley and F Goold 0-1 each.
C O’Connor 1-2 (0-1 45), G Brennan 0-2 (0-1 f), J Malone, P Burke, D O’Halloran, D Ryan 0-1 each.
K O’Halloran (Bishopstown); C Dorman (Bishopstown), M Shields (St Finbarr’s, c), J Loughrey (Mallow); S Cronin (Nemo Rangers), B O’Driscoll (Tadhg MacCarthaighs), B O’Driscoll (Nemo Rangers); A O’Connor (St Colum’s), K O’Driscoll (Tadhg MacCarthaighs); C O’Driscoll (Tadhg MacCarthaighs), M Collins (Castlehaven), P Kerrigan (Nemo Rangers); C O’Neill (Ballyclough), B Hurley (Castlehaven), D O’Connor (Ballydesmond.)
P Kelly (Ballincollig) for Hurley 49, F Goold (Macroom) for C O’Driscoll and R Deane (Bantry Blues) for A O’Connor 53, T Clancy (Fermoy) for Dorman 58, J Hayes (Carbery Rangers) for D O’Connor 60, P Kelleher (Kilmichael) for O’Neill 67.
J Hayes; S Hickey, C Russell, K Harnett; D Ryan, G Kelly, M McMahon; G Brennan, captain, C O’Connor; K Sexton, J Malone, S Collins; R Donnelly, E Cleary, P Burke.
C Dunning for Donnelly half-time, C O’Dea for Cleary 53, D O’Halloran for Burke 58.
Referee: J McQuillan (Cavan).
The second championship game at Páirc Uí Rinn was on June 10, 2017, when Cork fell over the line against Tipperary, winning by 1-10 to 1-9, in difficult conditions of wind and rain.
And there was a little bit of history attached to this one as well after Tipp shocked Cork the previous year in Thurles and almost repeated it, especially after Cork managed just one point with the wind in the first half.
The crowd of 4,570 sensed another upset, when Tipp surged 0-6 to 0-1 clear inside a minute on the resumption before Cork rallied, scoring six on the spin.
The game finished in a welter of excitement, Conor Sweeney goaling for a two-point lead for Tipp only for Luke Connolly to grab the winner for Cork 30 seconds later.
L Connolly 1-2, P Kerrigan 0-3, D O’Connor 0-2 (0-1 f), Barry O’Driscoll, M Collins 0-1 each, C O’Neill 0-1 f.
C Sweeney 1-5 (0-1 f), R Kiely, L Boland, L McGrath, K O’Halloran 0-1 each.
K O’Halloran (Bishopstown); M Shields (St Finbarr’s), J O’Sullivan (Bishopstown), K Crowley (Millstreet); C O’Driscoll (Tadhg MacCarthaighs), J Loughrey (Mallow), T Clancy (Fermoy); I Maguire (St Finbarr’s), R Deane (Bantry Blues); Brian O’Driscoll (Tadhg MacCarthaighs), P Kerrigan (Nemo, c), J O’Rourke (Carbery Rangers); C O’Neill (Ballyclough), P Kelleher (Kilmichael), L Connolly (Nemo Rangers).
D O’Connor (Ballydesmond)for Kelleher 30, Barry O’Driscoll (Nemo Rangers) for Brian O’Driscoll 35, S Powter (Douglas) for C O’Driscoll half-time, M Collins (Castlehaven) for Barry O’Driscoll, blood sub, 44-49 and for Deane 51, M Hurley (Castlehaven) for O’Rourke 59, G Murphy (Castletownbere) for O’Neill, 65.
C Kenrick; P Codd, S O’Connell, A Campbell; B Maher, R Kiely, J Feehan; L Casey, G Hannigan; J Keane, D Foley, L Boland; C Sweeney, M Quinlivan, B Fox, captain.
L McGrath for Quinlivan injured 18, K O’Halloran for Foley 47, A Moloney for Casey 52, C O’Shaughnessy for O’Connell injured and K Bergin for Hannigan 57, J Lonergan for Boland 65.
C Branagan (Down).