Cork minor football selector Ollie Rue O’Sullivan is hopeful the county’s latest All-Ireland winners will show the desire required to push up through the ranks and replicate what they achieved on Sunday at U20 and senior level.
“The James O’Donoghue of three and four years ago would just turn around and kick that ball over the bar with his left foot. He’s not playing with the confidence you’d expect. If he was, he’d have chipped that ball over the bar,” said Oisín McConville, 22 minutes into Kerry’s Super 8 rout of Mayo.
Given that much of the focus on last Sunday’s All-Ireland SHC final revolved around Richie Hogan’s sending off, arguably the most important moment of the match has almost gone underappreciated.
When Cork blitzed Tipperary in the second half of a 15-point defeat at CIT on June 22, it was the third serious setback in a horror week that had begun with Nicole Walsh being airlifted from The Ragg unconscious and was followed by the resignation of manager Bill Mullaney for health reasons.
Not to put too fine a point on it but Kilkenny won the All-Ireland quarter-final largely because they were playing — and were allowed to play by and play through — Cork. Not to put too fine a point on it but they’re unlikely to win the All-Ireland semi-final largely because they’ll be playing — and will not be allowed to play by and play through — Limerick.
It wasn’t pretty but Tipperary manager Niamh Lillis was pleased that her charges hit the last five points to register a hard-fought 0-15 to 0-11 win over Meath in the Liberty Insurance All-Ireland Senior Camogie Championship at Donaghmore-Ashbourne on Saturday.
By the time Brendan Maher left the Gaelic Grounds last Sunday, he had moved on. After that weighty loss to Limerick, Liam Sheedy gave him and the other Tipperary players a couple of evenings off to decompress before returning to training but he was already thinking of an All-Ireland quarter-final.
Dónal Óg Cusack had already begun changing the game with short puckouts in 2003 and 2004 but Damien Fitzhenry’s puckout masterclass against Kilkenny in the 2004 Leinster semi-final was still a keynote moment in hurling’s expanding tactical revolution.
Roscommon captain Enda Smith believes last year’s dire Super 8s showing is not a true reflection of the county’s worth, but did add that the hammerings endured at the hands of Tyrone and Dublin provided a real eye-opener as to the gap that exists to the leading teams.