A CHANGE of venue from Páirc Uí Rinn should help Cork showcase their talents on the best surface in the country against a Limerick team, which has the benefit of already having played in the championship.
That was a 2-6 to 0-6 win over Waterford last week when late goals from David O’Shaughnessy and Aaron Neville got the Shannonsiders over the line.
Cork and Limerick also met last year with the Rebels winning comfortably by 2-15 to 0-5 and five of those starters are set to be in the line-up again along with three or four from the panel. Cork lost to Kerry in the final afterwards.
One of the survivors is Tommy Walsh (Kanturk), who played senior championship against Clare and meets the criteria to play U20, but injuries rule out two forwards, Ballincollig’s Darragh O’Mahony and Buttevant’s Conor Hanlon.
Cork are again managed by Bobbie O’Dwyer (Urhan) with selectors Carthach Keane (Newcestown) Ollie O’Sullivan (Garnish), John Hayes (Carbery Rangers), Ciaran Sheehan (Éire Óg) and Kieran Cronin (Aghabullogue) and they’ve certainly not allowed the grass grow under the feet to prepare for the game following the completion of their John Kerins Cup fixtures.
“We played every week and had about 10 games in all. And you were travelling all the time to Dublin, the west and up north, generally meeting teams half-way,” O’Dwyer said.
“It gave lads game-time which was very important and they were playing teams of a similar standard, as well.
“We had a lot of lads injured from the start of the year in playing colleges and universities football and most of them are back, but not all.
“The interesting thing is that you come across different tactical stuff that you wouldn’t have come across in games down here.
“You’d have different kick-out variations, different forward positionings, different defensive structures and transitioning.
In the corresponding minor (U17) three years ago Cork and Limerick had big wins over Tipperary and Waterford respectively but progressed no further.
Cork lost to Kerry by three points after extra time in their semi-final in Tralee while Limerick were well beaten by Clare, who then lost by 10 to the Kingdom in the final.
Cork watched Limerick against Waterford a week ago. “They’re organised and very well structured. Every game you play takes on a life of its own, so the way they set up against Waterford will be totally different against Cork and in the same way Cork will set up quite differently than they might against another team.
“It’s our job to go out there and make sure at the end of it all that we’re still in the competition. That is what we’re aiming to do,” O’Dwyer concluded.
In the other semi-final holders Kerry have home advantage against a Clare side, which defeated Tipperary by 1-11 to 0-11 last week.
Callum Dungan (Carrigaline);
Dan Twomey (Ballinascarthy), Jacob O’Driscoll (Valley Rovers, c), Darragh Murray (Glanmire);
Thomas O’Mahony (Castlehaven), Tommy Walsh (Kanturk), Sean Brady (Ballygarvan);
Eoghan Nash (Douglas), Sean Dore (Ballincollig);
Olan Corcoran (St Mary’s), Liam O’Connell (Ballincollig), Richard O’Sullivan (Newcestown);
Peadar O’Rourke (Carbery Rangers), Hugh O’Connor (Newmarket), Tom Cunningham (Kilshannig).
Mikey O’Connell (St Michael’s), Mikey Quirke (Ballinora), Fionn Crowley (St Finbarr’s), Chris Kenneally (Clonakilty), Eoin de Burca (St Michael’s), Paddy O’Driscoll (Gabriel Rangers), Niall Kelly (Newcestown), Mike McSweeney (Knocknagree), Ross Corkery (Nemo Rangers).