Cork and Clare face race to be ready for second round

By Therese O’Callaghan

The new round-robin format of the Munster minor hurling championship doesn’t allow Cork and Clare much time to recover for their respective second round tests on Sunday.

They treated fans to a high-scoring encounter in Páirc Uí Chaoimh yesterday with plenty of drama as Cork came from behind to claim victory by four with a run of six late points.

Darragh Healy of Clare in action against Kevin Moynihan of Cork. Pic: Brendan Moran/Sportsfile

In a highly competitive province, margins are tight.

It will be a challenge for Sean Doyle’s charges to bounce back especially after playing themselves to a standstill in spite of being a player down for much of the second-half against Cork.

They lock horns with a Déise side who will be kickstarting their campaign. At home in Cusack Park, this could turn out to be a season-defining game.

“It will be hard to recover,” the Clare manager admitted after the Cork defeat.

But we haven’t much time to drop our heads. We will roll on to next weekend and get ready for Waterford in Ennis. We will do a light session on Tuesday. There are other players there who didn’t get much game time today so some of them have to be ready next weekend. We have 32 players so there are more lads to come on.

"Waterford are actually a very big team. But we will play our own game. We will play it the way we played today. We set out well.

"The lads executed the game plan exactly what was told of them. We will get the Clare crowd behind us next week and hopefully get over the line. That will be a different game."

Cork boss John Considine is preparing for a trip to Thurles and a meeting with a Tipperary team that lost out to Limerick in their first outing.

Playing at home has already proved crucial for the Rebels. Exploiting this advantage is vital.

“I think home advantage is a big plus,” he said.

You noticed at the end of our game the Cork shouts. When the chant went up, fellas reacted to it. I was amazed. Home advantage is crucial.

“The problem against Tipperary is the game is starting at 12 o’clock and fellas getting out of bed at half past six or seven o’clock.

"You don’t want to get them up too early, but you have to be in Thurles by 11am. You have to get them fuelled up as well.”

Considine managed the Leesiders to All Ireland U17 success in 2017. They encountered a busy schedule that time too.

“Last year we had a similar situation. We played the quarter-final on a Tuesday night and the semi-final the following Tuesday. So, we are using the same plan.

"There will be a recovery and yoga session on Tuesday and a bit of hurling on Thursday. The big thing is trying to get fellas who didn’t play today, game time.

“Everybody said at the start of the year, there is nothing between the teams in Munster and that seems to be stacking up. You could get through with two wins. Three wins would be a big plus.”

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