Cork boosted by ability to create goal chances

One wonders what aspect of Cork’s win over Clare will have brought a smile to management most, writes Donal O’Grady.

Cork boosted by ability to create goal chances

What will have pleased Cork’s management most?

It has been pointed out regularly that Cork don’t score too many goals and they scored only one against Clare.

However, the management will be very pleased with the fact that four other good goal chances were created. Cork will take confidence from this and, of course, the reasons for the misses are available on film. Video is a valuable coaching tool. It allows JBM and Mark Landers the opportunities to recreate the scenarios of those missed chances on the training ground, ensuring a better conversion rate down the line.

Even after all their recent U21 success, will Clare struggle in a few positions? Clare started against Cork with 10 of their All-Ireland-winning team of 2013.

Tony Kelly and David McInerney are injured and Conor McGrath was rested Saturday night. This trio will make the team. Bobby Duggan could be in contention up front depending on the system they play. Clare have mined some diamonds from their successful U21 teams, but on this weekend’s evidence there are no others from those triumphs who will definitely start on the first 15.

They need Podge Collins back if they are to come near to the heights of 2013. A corner back would also be top of the shopping list if transfers were available.

How has Dublin’s display changed how the others are rated?

Although Dublin’s winning margin in Nowlan Park was only five points in the end, they overran Kilkenny. The Cats were down to 13 in the second half, but this doesn’t explain the complete dominance of the Dubs, which lasted until about 10 minutes from full time.

This was the same Kilkenny team that was impressive on Leeside against Cork. So, where do the Rebels stand and were Tipp really that bad last week?

We’ll have to wait for the next round to answer this. Dublin are clearly well out in front and look odds-on to make the closing stages.

Will we see a better goal and point than Callanan’s efforts in Thurles?

Seamus Callanan has always been acknowledged as a skilful player. Yesterday, he demonstrated his range of skills with a superb point in the first half, taking a high ball down on his stick, controlling it and sticking it over the bar. Against the breeze in the second half, he put Tipp in a great position when he controlled the ball and flicked it deftly home.

Tipp played better this weekend in Thurles and manager Eamon O’Shea will be pleased with the points, but it wasn’t a vintage display. Galway manager Anthony Cunningham will be disappointed with their second-half wides and will feel they might have got a draw.

Who is favourite for relegation and promotion at this stage?

With three tough games left — Tipp and Dublin in Ennis and Kilkenny in Nowlan Park — Clare look likely candidates to end up in relegation trouble at this stage. They will hope to have a full squad to pick from for the rest of their games.

Division 1B is shaping up into a three-horse race, with Limerick, who have two home games left, favourites to advance, along with Waterford or Wexford.

If the Hurling 2020 recommendations on the league are accepted, it will mean two counties being promoted from Division 1B, with the loser of the relegation play-off in 1A dropping down.

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