LET’S not be patronising here – it would be stretching things beyond credibility to say that Antrim, having shocked the hurling world last weekend with their win over Dublin in Croke Park, can repeat the exercise tomorrow.
Cork hammered Tipperary in the first round of the Munster championship before sauntering past an under-strength Limerick. They then took Waterford to extra-time of a provincial final replay before succumbing, and this after losing Shane O’Neill and Ronan Curran and having started without Seán Óg O hAilpín and Jerry O’Connor.
Another Antrim win wouldn’t be just a shock, it would be seismic. Even though the Rebels are still without O’Neill, Seán Óg, and Jerry O’Connor, Cork should win. But, they will have to work for that win, and work hard.
Antrim deserved their victory over Dublin, after they came from being six points behind to win by one. It wasn’t the first time this championship season they had battled back when all seemed lost – they did the same against Offaly, who were very fortunate to draw with them in normal time in the first round in Leinster (Antrim lost in extra-time) and did it again to beat Carlow in the last game before meeting Dublin.
The irrepressible Dinny Cahill is a top-notch hurling coach but he has also instilled belief in the northerners, and given the hammering received against Cork at this same stage in 2004 (2-26 to 0-10), Antrim will be on a mission tomorrow.
This could go to the wire, but...
- Verdict: CORK.
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