Munster Senior Hurling Championship 2024…part 2

The wing forward with the long hair

Rumour that Peter Duggan is unlikely to feature this weekend due to injury. Would be a loss given his form. Darragh Lohan is still struggling with his back injury from the Limerick match while Ryan Taylor is back doing full training a few weeks ago, but I am surprised he hasn’t played Clare Cup for Clooney Quin which would make you think he has had a setback and unlikely ti make the 26.

I’d assume TK will come back in to the side probably for Cian Galvin. If Duggan doesn’t make it I wonder will they rejig a bit and start Shanagher at 14.

Advantage Waterford

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The Shanagher role now seems to be fuck him with 3 mins left when Clare are fucked and need a goal but otherwise he will not see game time

The problem for him he can only really play full forward and is fairly one dimensional. Given that three of the starting forwards in O’Donnell, Rodgers and McCarthy are all far more effective/consistent at 14 and Duggan works far harder than him when he played 14 means he is struggling for minutes. Shan is a fairly boom or burst hurler.

But if Duggan doesn’t make it they might fancy him against Waterford without Prunty as he has a decent record against them. They might just keep Galvin midfield and bring TK in for Duggan too

Skihill wrong?
Well I never.
He’s a dressed up.monkey in a cage for the fior gaelscoileanna of castleknock. He just doesn’t realise it quite.
There’s much he doesn’t quite realise.

Jaysus he’s at it again.

There’s gaelscoileanna in Castleknock?


The return of Whiny Kiely


He never went away you know.

Very clever from John, highlighting the assault on Kinnerk by Cork management in a nice subtle way :clap::clap::clap:

Derek McGrath: Cork can’t pack predictability for Semple

Cork may need a tweak to the plan and a bolter in the team

Cork will know that there is nothing easier to beat than predictability. Shane Barrett’s inference that they had taken last Saturday’s game in isolation pointed to the strong influence Gary Keegan had on their mental preparation. His role will be even greater this week. Johhny Sexton’s post-match interview after Ireland were defeated by the All Blacks at the World Cup spoke of his team’s desire to “make the country proud”.
The psychological concept of playing for something far greater than yourself can actually act as release of tension. The job now for Cork is not to forget what happened last Saturday evening but to harness it, to build on it.


  1. Reflect mentally

Having returned from an ACL last year, South Africa’s rugby captain Siya Kolisi was asked, after his side’s victory over Scotland, about his recovery. He spoke of “playing for something far bigger than ourselves, for a country that has had so many battles… we get our energy from them never giving up”.

Cork and Pat Ryan would have had to reflect (even over a beer) on the night they just experienced, the Corkness of it all, the uniqueness of the relationship with its people and how it made all the players and management feel. Yes, the focus would have shifted but the message would be to build on the confidence and energy. Reason started to present itself in some quarters last week when Tom Kenny, instead of taking the populist guillotine approach, concluded that Pat was and is the right man for the Cork job regardless of what happened. That still stands this weekend.

  1. A slight tweak to the plan

The predictable groans that greet Patrick Collins’ going short this Sunday must be overcome. Kudos to Cork management for replicating Tipperary’s first-half puckout strategy against the champions in the 2021 Munster Final and Waterford’s 2024 version against the Rebels. However, Ronan Maher’s likely stationing as an extra defender in front of the D will likely leave Mark Coleman as Cork’s own spare man. Mixing up the puckout strategy with some mid-distance deliveries to Dalton and Harnedy, as well as using a more urgent Coleman, can be married with the long approach.

  1. Sharpen the edge

Shane Barrett’s ability to suddenly decelerate and attack the left side of his direct opponent is his signature move, but he and others will have received feedback around their finishing. Connolly and Barrett’s powerful running should cause them to be less paranoid when striking. Barrett will have been shown his effort on 30 mins, 41 secs where he has time to straighten and shoot to the right of Nickie Quaid or offload to Connolly. They could revisit Kevin Moran’s goal in the '17 All-Ireland, Niall Gilligan’s goal in the Munster Final replay of '98 or the best example of giving the keeper the eyes, Paul Flynn’s 2001 strike against Limerick.

  1. A bolter perhaps?

Eight-day turnarounds can prompt change. Ethan Twomey was excellent last Saturday but if Ciarán Joyce is fit could he bring massive athleticism to the middle of the field? Could he be an option at 6 with Downey moving to the wing? Can Shane Kingston hurt Tipp from the off or will we see Jack O Connor’s jet heels in Semple Stadium?

Tipperary’s buoyant optimism is based on securing a draw with Waterford where their players fought on their backs for the same cause Kolisi referenced. The likely outnumbering of the home support will feed perfectly into the siege mentality of the Tipperary players and management. Their focus will be, as it was against Waterford, on not conceding space to the pace of Cork. It’s something they may succeed in doing for long periods but not for long enough. The Rebels can get to four points.


While expecting Galway to win with something to spare at the weekend I am not convinced of the narrative that “the talent is there”. I think the talent was there and potentially could have been there if management were willing to press the reset button in terms of the dynamic of the squad over the last few years.

Acknowledging Eamon O’Shea as a coach who thrives on creating space and goalscoring opportunities is something we have all done and this will probably be more evident against the Saffrons. But what happens when the director has a different cast? O’Sheas relationship with the Tipperary players has been rightly acclaimed but the job gets harder when you’ve no Lar Corbett, Eoin Kelly, Noel and John Mc Grath, Bubbles Dwyer, Seamie Callanan. Eamon can be the difference for Galway but it won’t be easy.


With the expected loss of Prunty, Davy may match up Jack Fagan with Peter Duggan or restore the speedy Ian Kenny to match up with the diminutive but dangerous David Reidy. Tactically, the conduit between Tadhg, Darragh Lyons and Jack Prendergast has been hugely beneficial. Prendergast is the perfect modern team player, quick, good in the air, selfless in his running. He has been central to the perceived support cast bringing us to new levels of performance.

Out of possession, Lyons will filter back picking up Tadhg’s man while Jack heads to the middle of the field to build a cordon. Waterford have brought flexibility and unpredictability. The long deliveries down the middle have seen Mikey Kiely deliver his UL form. Dessie and Shane Bennett may be the two inside with Stephen Bennett hoping to take Cleary far from his goal.

Dessie’s feet and quick deliveries inside, with the Clare half-backs following out the field, is the formula Waterford will want. I think he provides Adam Hogan with a different type of test than he has encountered.

Davy may revisit the first 25 minutes of last year’s clash in Thurles. Up to Calum’s dismissal, Waterford had Clare in trouble with a controlled running game. They will hope to mix and match by changing formations several times within each quarter to ensure Clare are constantly having to adapt.

On paper and in the eyes of most Clare seem better equipped to move deep into the summer but I am not as convinced. Clare’s defensive alignment is dependent on the depth and work ethic of their half-forward line. If Kelly plays, their organisational capacity improves dramatically. The expectancy in the Ennis air for a home win is palpable but the Waterford players will be freed by the dismissive nature of the commentary around this game.

The most impressive aspect of Waterford’s approach this year has been the approach of Davy himself. His concentration levels, his focus, seem completely on point. There has been very little sniping at opposition, no retorts to insidious remarks. He seems (thus far) to have become more circumspect and introspective, working hard to bring his nous to the occasion. He has held his counsel well and sometimes we forget the Clare man has won two All-Irelands as a player, managed an All-Ireland winning team, won Munster and Leinster Championships, Fitzgibbon Cups and county championships with the Bridge.

When managed against his native county, he seems almost to have been afraid to be himself, watching every action carefully. Waterford need him to lead as he has been doing during this campaign. He must be content to adhere to the Chinese philosopher Lao Tzu’s deduction that “when the effective leader is finished with his work, the people say it happened naturally.” The Déise can grab at least a point.


Memories stirred en route home from Cork last Saturday night to the early season county and provincial board musings concerning the “runaway train”, the financial burden, that inter-county teams had become. The gun was loaded and aimed at the spiralling costs and “out of control” spending on county teams and pointed directly at the GPA for having the audacity to look for “70c a mile” for inter-county players.

Times have changed since my last sojourn into inter-county hurling management but I couldn’t but think of the perfect merger of all facets of team preparation that manifested itself before our eyes last Saturday night. Seated with all my family directly behind the Limerick management, watching the meticulous Seanie O’Donnell and his stats team debrief at half time, Kinnerk’s regular trips to the iPad statistician, the brilliance and the immersive all-in attitude of the Limerick medical personnel, all being facilitated by Kiely, I began to wonder if we know how lucky we are.

I know of several cases recently where third-level exams have demanded much of our great players’ minds, but consistently deliver they do and moan they don’t. Cork CEO Kevin O’Donovan took a visionary approach in suggesting the establishment of a National Review Committee that would return with “proposals which allow a progressive yet sustainable approach” to financial planning. But equally, the commitment and expertise of brilliant backroom teams, from psychologists, nutritionists, coaches and strength and conditioning personnel in contributing to the emotional and physical preparation of these warriors is vital.

I look forward to the day when points are made from the floor of a county board meeting outlining the importance of sustaining the current levels of investment in our teams given the nature of what they are producing week in, week out.

Indeed Connacht Secretary John Prenty asked a very important question when addressing his delegates at the Connacht Council meeting in early January. "Are we getting value for money?” The €120 we spent last Saturday for tickets was the best value we ever got in our lives.

What do you think?

Diminutive but dangerous. Lovely bit of alliteration there.

It’ll be great to throw the feet up this Sunday and watch the others go at it.

Waterford and Cork (just) for me.

Lao Tzu>Sun Tzu

  1. Eibhear Quilligan (Feakle)

  2. Adam Hogan (Feakle)

  3. Conor Cleary (St Joseph’s Miltown)

  4. Rory Hayes (Wolfe Tones)

  5. Diarmuid Ryan (Cratloe)

  6. John Conlon (Clonlara)

  7. David McInerney (Tulla)

  8. David Fitzgerald (Inagh-Kilnamona))

  9. Darragh Lohan (Wolfe Tones)

  10. Cathal Malone (Sixmilebridge

  11. Mark Rodgers (Scariff)

  12. Peter Duggan (Clooney-Quin)

  13. Aidan McCarthy (Inagh-Kilnamona)

  14. Shane O’Donnell (Éire Óg)

  15. David Reidy (Éire Óg)

  16. Cian Broderick (Clarecastle)

  17. Conor Leen (Corofin)

  18. Paul Flanagan (Ballyea)

  19. Seadna Morey (Sixmilebridge)

  20. Cian Galvin (Clarecastle)

  21. Paddy Donnellan (Broadford)

  22. Ian Galvin (Clonlara)

  23. Aron Shanagher (Wolfe Tones)

  24. Shane Meehan (Banner)

  25. Robin Mounsey (Ruan)

  26. Tony Kelly (Ballyea)

Cork go with the same 15

CORK (Munster SHC v Tipperary):

Patrick Collins (Ballinhassig);

Niall O’Leary (Castlelyons), Eoin Downey (Glen Rovers), Seán O’Donoghue (Inniscarra, captain);

Tim O’Mahony (Newtownshandrum), Robert Downey (Glen Rovers), Mark Coleman (Blarney);

Ethan Twomey (St Finbarr’s), Darragh Fitzgibbon (Charleville);

Declan Dalton (Fr O’Neills), Shane Barrett (Blarney), Séamus Harnedy (St Ita’s);

Patrick Horgan (Glen Rovers), Alan Connolly (Blackrock), Brian Hayes (St Finbarr’s).

Subs: Brion Saunderson (Midleton), Damien Cahalane (St Finbarr’s), Ger Millerick (Fr O’Neills), Tommy O’Connell (Midleton), Ciarán Joyce (Castlemartyr), Luke Meade (Newcestown), Brian Roche (Bride Rovers), Shane Kingston (Douglas), Jack O’Connor (Sarsfields), Conor Lehane (Midleton), Seán Twomey (Courcey Rovers).