Battle of Leeside legends: Picking the greatest Cork hurler of all-time

Your county’s greatest? Have a look and tell us what you think. We’ve started with Cork but we’ll move to other counties soon, so get your nominations and your arguments in order: we may accommodate the former but we’re definitely looking for the latter. Just don’t be too hard on Michael Moynihan for this one...
Battle of Leeside legends: Picking the greatest Cork hurler of all-time

Your county’s greatest? Have a look and tell us what you think. We’ve started with Cork but we’ll move to other counties soon, so get your nominations and your arguments in order: we may accommodate the former but we’re definitely looking for the latter. Just don’t be too hard on Michael Moynihan for this one...

Quarter-finals

Brian Corcoran v Christy Ring

Brian Corcoran’s winning turns as centre-back and full-forward on successful All-Ireland teams make him a natural quarter-finalist. Difficult here to look past the iconic Ring, however, and his eight All-Irelands – including some significant defensive work en route to those titles.

Winner: Ring

Jack Lynch v Jamesy Kelleher

Two stars of distant days here: Kelleher was the central figure on Cork teams of the opening decades of the century – and a noted horseman – but has to yield here to Lynch, whose power and athleticism was one of the main engines in Cork’s five All-Irelands in six years in the forties (not to mention his football All-Ireland).

Winner: Jack

Jimmy Barry-Murphy v Ger Cunningham

Another clash of clubmates. Cunningham was the last goalkeeper to win Hurler of the Year (and one of only three overall) and remains the gold standard for goalkeeping twenty years after retiring. However, difficult to call against Barry-Murphy and his well-earned status as a Cork legend.

Winner: JBM

Patrick Horgan v Ray Cummins

Fascinating clash of styles here, with Horgan’s sumptuous touch and accuracy ranged against Cummins’ vision and goalscoring. A tentative decision for Cummins based on the fact that he revolutionised the full-forward position with his movement and awareness.

Winner: Cummins

Semi-finals

Christy Ring v Jack Lynch

A tough battle of clubmates here (and teammates on the Hurling Team of the Millennium). The nod goes to Ring, just about, with longevity a vital part of his reputation: the Cloyne native played from the thirties to the sixties, after all, whereas in retirement from hurling Lynch faded into obscurity somewhat.

Winner: Ring

Ray Cummins v Jimmy Barry-Murphy

A measure of how good Cork were in the seventies? Cummins and Barry-Murphy were in the same forward line. Little to choose between them on the field of play, Barry-Murphy’s contribution as a Cork manager tips the scales his way.

Winner: JBM

Final

Ring v JBM

The ultimate contest. Both of them great goalscorers, and both of them scorers of great goals — and linked forever, of course, as selector and forward on the three in a row team. Even allowing for the pull of recency bias, though, Ring has to get the palm. The greatest.

Winner: Ring

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