Championship 2024 Blog

Can Cork produce a Houdini act to stay alive in Munster?

Mike Finnerty | 8 May 2024

Limerick beat Cork by 1 point in the corresponding match last year

Cork running out of chances

Nothing less than a victory over the All-Ireland champions on Saturday evening will keep the Rebels in the mix for a place in the last three of the Munster championship.

That’s the reality for Pat Ryan’s team after back-to-back defeats against Waterford and Clare in the first two games of the round-robin series.

Those two losses both came after high-scoring shoot-outs, with the Deisé winning 2-25 to 1-25 in Walsh Park and the Banner snatching a 3-26 to 3-24 victory at Super Valu Pairc Uí Chaoimh.

If a similar sort of contest unfolds this weekend, it’s hard to see Cork getting what they need.

Limerick look to be improving

‘The drive for five’ got off to a memorable start at Cusack Park in Ennis, but Limerick’s subsequent victory over Tipperary was a serious statement of intent.

Scoring three goals in seven minutes to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat against Clare is one thing, but hammering Tipp’ by 15 points reminded all and sundry of Limerick’s ‘shock and awe’ capabilities.

Those results also means that John Kiely’s well-drilled green machine are sitting comfortably on the top of the round-robin group (with a score difference of +18) as they head to Cork next Saturday evening.

They are exactly where they want to be — and look to be improving all the time.

Carlow get a shot at the Cats

A year on from their unforgettable Joe McDonagh Cup Final win over Offaly, a rollercoaster match that was only settled after extra-time, Carlow will get a chance to test themselves against the Leinster champions at Netwatch Dr Cullen Park on Saturday.

Tom Mullally’s team have acquitted themselves well so far and, despite losing to Galway (by 11 points) and Dublin (by five points) in the opening two rounds, Carlow have been far from outclassed.

The mercurial Marty Kavanagh has run up big tallies, shooting 0-21 in total, 0-5 from play, but few teams ask harder questions than their Kilkenny neighbours.

A new reality for Kildare

A season that has seen them win just one of their last nine games has now led Kildare to a place where they are competing in the Tailteann Cup.

That new reality begins for them on Saturday evening against Longford at the Kildare GAA Centre of Excellence in Hawkfield, a ground with a capacity of just 1,200.

On paper, Glenn Ryan’s team look like being one of the favourites to win this competition but, given their poor run of form and results this year, they can take nothing for granted.

Kildare supporters will be looking for signs that there is a kick in their team and that they can bounce back from the disappointing Leinster semi-final exit against Louth.

Longford could spring a surprise

Five weeks after they fell at the first fence in the Leinster championship, Longford return to the arena and get a chance to upset the odds against a Lilywhites team who have been out-of-sorts all season.

Paddy Christie’s team put in a solid league campaign, finishing fourth in Division 4, but they found Meath too hot to handle in last month’s championship opener.

Conceding 3-19 made it practically impossible for Longford to take out Colm O’Rourke’s charges so you can be sure that Kildare’s attack is unlikely to be given as much latitude.

There is no pressure on Longford here and that makes them dangerous opponents.