Club clashes crucial to Cork, insists Walsh

CORK boss Denis Walsh last night insisted this weekend’s local championship action is vital ahead of Cork’s Munster SHC clash with Tipperary on May 31. Walsh believes club games are imperative for him and his selectors in ascertaining the form of his Cork squad.

“It’s not a situation whereby we were starting off in January, so that makes the club games important. I’ll be viewing this weekend differently as we’ll be looking to size up who is on form.

“We realise the importance of releasing players to clubs. Since I took over I’ve been urging players to feature with their clubs in games, it’s important. But we’ll be hoping we get proper access to the players then and getting them back to us when we need them for two weeks before the Tipperary match.”

Walsh was speaking in the Rochestown Park Hotel at the official launch of the Evening Echo Cork SHC which start tonight and continue with a busy programme throughout the weekend in the senior, premier intermediate and intermediate grades.

Last night also saw the county board launch the new Cork GAA website which can be accessed at www.gaacork.ie. The website features news and information on all aspects of Cork GAA at county and club levels, and the club representatives at the launch received a presentation on the website by John Lee of E-Sports Manager, the designers of the website. Board vice-chairman Bob Ryan hailed the launching of the new website.

“We now have a modern website which is fitting for GAA in the 21st century. We have put a lot of work into designing this over the last few weeks and we believe it provides a huge amount of information on Cork GAA. We intend to ensure this website is updated regularly and next Tuesday night there will be a committee set up at the county board meeting for that purpose.”

Meanwhile, St Catherine’s and Carrigaline provide an unique pairing to kick off the Evening Echo Cork hurling championships when they clash in the PIHC first round in Caherlag tonight at 7pm. The two clubs arrive at this juncture from opposite spectrums — St Catherine’s were relegated from the senior ranks last year while Carrigaline escaped from the intermediate ranks with a super final triumph after years of near misses.

St Catherine’s league form has been poor to date and they are pointless after three games. Michael Fitzgerald anchors the St Catherine’s challenge from defence.

Carrigaline arrive at this juncture full of optimism and their side bristles with youthful potential. Joe Moran and Gary Harrington are resolute defenders, while Peter and Nicholas Murphy provide experienced leadership.

In attack they have plenty capable scoretakers, with Stephen Corcoran and Simon O’Brien both having featured for Cork at underage level while Tony Murphy excelled during CIT’s Fitzgibbon Cup run. If their forwards can click, Carrigaline can make a winning start.

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