Cork hurler Seamus Harnedy is already thinking about the “local derby” which will be the Rebels’ next outing in the Munster championship, even though the smoke has barely cleared from Sunday’s battle against Tipperary in Thurles.
The Premier County were hot favourites to progress to the Munster semi-final against Waterford on June 18th, but Harnedy and co bucked the odds and beat Tipperary by four points.
Now Harnedy — from Gortroe near the Cork- Waterford border, and whose father played for the Déise hurlers — acknowledged the current Waterford side’s abilities: “It’s going to be a tall order backing last Sunday up against Waterford the next day out, we know that, they’re a fine team and have a lot of experience they can draw on from the last couple of years.
“But the first thing for us is to go out and try to play. It’ll be another derby, if you like, when we play Waterford in a couple of weeks, a close battle, but we can only do what we can do, and control what we can control. We’ll focus on them in the next couple of weeks, obviously up to Sunday we were concentrating on Tipperary alone.”
The displays given by Cork youngsters like Colm Spillane, Mark Coleman, Darragh Fitzgibbon, Shane Kingston, and Luke Meade was a big talking point last weekend.
“The younger lads were very good Sunday, but they’ve been very good all year,” said Harnedy. “It’s dog eat dog out on the field in a Munster championship match, but they’re outstanding players, all of them have a great attitude. They’ve been doing it consistently all the way up through the ranks, and all of them showed up well during the league, so it’s no surprise to see them do so well. They’ve all been brilliant additions to the panel. They’re a credit to their families, to their clubs and to themselves, every one of them, and I’m sure they’re all looking forward to the next day out like the rest of us.”
Harnedy also paid tribute to the Cork supporters for driving the team on in the latter stages against Tipperary. “Coming up we really just wanted to give a good account of ourselves, to work hard and to do what we could for the team.
“We were just absolutely over the moon to get over the game and to make the semi-final, but by God did Tipp push us every inch of the way. Tipp came back at us there with a minute or two to go — even when we got our second goal and there was only a minute or two left, they still kept coming at us.
“They really tested us, but we were able to get over the line. Huge credit has to go to the Cork supporters as well, they were behind us from the moment we came out onto the field, and their support was massive in the closing stages when we were just trying to close the game out.”
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