While Seán White has been one of the bright spots of Cork’s stuttering Allianz FL Division 2 campaign, he will be unable to help secure their status, against Roscommon tomorrow (3pm).
A torn quad muscle kept the Clonakilty man out of last Saturday night’s defeat, at home to Clare, however, and he will miss the trip to Dr Hyde Park, too, where Cork need to avoid defeat to eradicate relegation worries.
As well as wins at home to Louth and away to Down and Meath, Cork’s campaigns has included home reversals against Tipperary, Cavan, and Clare. White, a trainee accountant with KPMG, is as perplexed as anyone by the roller-coaster.
“It’s more about consistency,” he says. “It’s the element of our game we need to improve on. The first game was disappointing, against Tipperary, but I thought we played quite well.
“We won the next two games. We had a bad performance against Cavan, then another good one against Meath, and a bad one against Clare. If we can get more consistent, it would solve a lot of problems. It’s obviously disappointing to lost a few of the home games, but it all comes down to consistency, really.
“Maybe when we’re at home, we’re not as prepared, as we’re not together as much.
“When we’re away, we’re surrounded by each other beforehand. You’re getting to each other better.
“It’s something we have to work on and I’m sure Ronan will have targeted it over the next few weeks, ahead of championship.” While he would like to be involved against Kevin McStay’s side, White believes that the Rebels will prove stiff enough opponents, against a side who are chasing an immediate return to the top flight.
“You want to play in every game. It’s disappointing to miss it and the Clare one,” he says. “especially when they’re the last two games, the most important in terms of the outcome of the league.
“We still have a good team going out on Sunday, so I’d have no fear that the lads will be able to get a result.
“With Cork, in every game you go out, you want to win, because there’s always someone behind you who wants to take your place.
“There are a few news lads going out on Sunday and I’ve no doubt that they’ll try their best to get into the team.
“There’s always that championship aspect, because people want to do well when they’re playing for Cork.
“Roscommon are going to be really for it. If they win, they’re guaranteed promotion, so it’ll be a good challenge.” With the league campaign over — though, if defeat materialises on Sunday, they will wait to see if results go their way a week later — the Cork players will be released to their clubs for the opening round of the county.
For White and Clonakilty, it’s a derby clash with Carbery Rangers, as they seek to exorcise the memory of the 2-15 to 1-4 loss of a year ago. After that, it’s full-steam ahead for the Munster championship and the chance to gear up for a clash with Tipperary or Waterford, without the week-on-week league schedule.
“Most of the clubs are playing championship on the weekend of the eighth or the 15th,” he says. “After Sunday, everyone will go back to their clubs for two weeks to get ready for championship.
“When we get back together with Cork, I’d imagine there’ll be more physical training, an opportunity for more A versus B games, and then to fine-tune things, as the championship gets closer. We’ll have either Tipperary or Waterford in the Munster semi-final, so we’ll just be focused on that.”
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