MUSKERRY manager Diarmuid Kirwan will be expecting an improvement from his team when they face Avondhu in next Tuesday’s Co-op SuperStores Premier SHC clash.
On Tuesday night, the Mid-Cork side eventually ran out 2-16 to 0-10 winners over Carbery in the unseeded divisional section at Cloughduv, setting up a semi-final tie with Avondhu. At half-time, Muskerry trailed by 0-9 to 0-6 after shooting 11 wides and Kirwan acknowledged that there was a lack of fluency.
“The first half was very poor,” he said, “very disappointing.
“I don’t know, I suppose we had a number of changes again tonight and it’s taking the players time to gel.
“We only got together before the first-round match against Carrigdhoun and you’re just going championship match to championship match and playing different players.
“We had the Inniscarra lads back on Tuesday night, but of course they were new to some of the other lads and so it takes a while to gel.
“We missed a lot of scores in the first half and we won’t get away with that against Avondhu, in fairness. Carbery had some great scores and we were struggling, we were trying to overplay the ball at times and go for pot-shot scores rather than playing the simple ball.
“We’ve a lot of work to do, we’d want to up our game a lot for Avondhu.”
Muskerry’s opponents were playing their third game but suffered through player unavailability, summed up by the fact that captain Jeremy Ryan was the only player to play every minute for them.
“In fairness to Carbery, they’ve been very unlucky,” Kirwan said.
“I saw their game against Duhallow and they came back well. There wasn’t a lot in their Avondhu game, either, and they suffered a few injuries. When that happens at divisional level, you’re going to struggle.
“We’ll just hope to build on this and go from there. We’ll aim to get together Saturday or Sunday evening, just for a light puckaround. Some of these lads still hardly know one another and that’s what you’ll have with a divisional team.”
Muskerry were helped by the presence of Seán O’Donoghue and Kirwan spoke highly of the Cork star and the influence he brings, hoping that it can help them next week.
“To have him is a huge boost to all the team,” he said, “he gave everyone a big lift.
“You saw it out there, he gave his all, in fairness to him. He was a big plus for us and it’s a case of onwards and upwards, hopefully. We’ll go again next Tuesday night and see what we have.”