All-Ireland Hurling Semi-Final Preview – Cork vs. Waterford
August 12, 2017 (No Comments) by Evan Coughlan

Before the championship even began this year, the Cork hurlers were written off as a team who were going nowhere fast. After a poor 2016 season, where they were knocked out in the second round of the qualifiers to Wexford, everyone seemingly forgot that this is Cork hurling we are talking about and it would only be a matter of time before the Cork hurlers were back firing on all cylinders once again.

Waterford on the other hand were expected to at least get to the semi-final stage again this year after the heartbreak of losing to Kilkenny in a replay at this stage last year. Derek McGrath’s side haven’t looked as impressive as they did last year, but are showing a determination that could very well see them on course for their first All Ireland title since 1959.

image

So, can Waterford get to their first All Ireland Hurling Final since 2008 or will the momentum of this young Cork team stop them in their tracks. We here at TheSharpe are take a look at both teams and unveil who we think will be facing off against Galway on All Ireland Final day come September 3rd.

Cork – The Story So Far

After two poor championships in a row, Cork desperately needed to show that they could still perform at the top table in this year’s championship. After a somewhat disappointing league campaign where they managed to finish second in Division 1A and then go on and lose to 1B team Limerick in the quarter finals. To say the mood heading into the first round of the Munster Championship was subdued would be an understatement, especially considering they were facing off against All Ireland Champions Tipperary in the champs backyard of Semple Stadium.

With Tipperary heavy favourites to win against an inexperienced Cork side, the Cork team caused possibly the upset of the entire championship. The Rebels edged out a four-point victory over the defending All Ireland champs, with Conor Lehane particularly impressive on the day, firing over 10 points. After the victory over Tipp, Cork were nearly written off again as pundits and punters agreed that this could very well only be a flash in the pan and that coming up against Waterford in the Munster semi-final would be Cork’s undoing.

000e351c-870

Come Munster semi-final day Cork were even more impressive than they had been weeks previous against Tipp, winning out against Waterford by five points. Cork were now back in their first Munster final since 2014. Facing them would be a Clare team who have remained largely unimpressive since their All Ireland victory of 2013. Cork were now going into a match for the first time in this year’s championship as heavy favourites. After no one expected them to go anywhere in the Munster championship this year, Cork ended up winning the Munster title after another impressive performance against Clare, beating the Banner by five points. With Cork being extremely impressive in this year’s championship with a strong full back line and an even stronger forward line, and the fact that their supporters are willing to travel in big numbers in order to support them shows that right now there is a movement occurring in Cork hurling and once it gets going it will be very hard for any team to stop.

Waterford – The Story So Far

Waterford are a curious case. Derek McGrath’s side are an extremely talented one with three or four of the best hurlers in the country on the panel. However, for one reason or another Waterford have remained largely unimpressive in this year’s championship. First day out in Munster they lose to Cork, and it seems like everything has gone wrong yet again for them and they have to go down the qualifier route yet again. After a stroll through the first round of the qualifiers against Offaly were they scored 35 points and were not threatened once. Next they came up against Kilkenny in round 2, a team that they haven’t managed to beat since winning their last All Ireland in 1959. Waterford played the match of their lives that day and finally showed what they were capable of as they put Kilkenny to the sword for the first 60 odd minutes.

25 May 2014; Michael Walsh, Waterford, in action against Bill Cooper, left, and Patrick Horgan, Cork. Munster GAA Hurling Senior Championship, Quarter-Final, Cork v Waterford, Semple Stadium, Thurles, Co. Tipperary. Picture credit: Ray McManus / SPORTSFILE

They then decided to throw it all away and Kilkenny managed to bring the game to extra time. Now in this situation you would expect Kilkenny to go on and win the match, but Waterford came out during extra time and absolutely dismantled Kilkenny knocking out the usual favourites for the All Ireland out of the championship for the first time since 1959. Next up for Waterford was former manger Davy Fitz and his young Wexford team in the All Ireland quarter final. Waterford backed up their display against Kilkenny with a commanding display against Wexford, which never seen the Yellow Bellies closer than two points from the victors. Waterford head into their third All Ireland semi-final in a row with the weight of an expectant county on their shoulders after finally breaking the Kilkenny hoodoo.

What Will Happen Come Matchday?

So after looking at both teams and how they have played and surprised people in equal measure this year, I can only see one winner this Sunday in Croke Park and that is the men from the Rebel county, Cork. The only thing that might let Cork down this Sunday is the fact that they will not have played a competitive game in over 5 weeks come this Sunday.

I’m sorry to say that it looks like yet again Waterford are going to be the nearly men in the hurling championship, but with a hugely talented group of young players at his disposable don’t be surprised to see Derek McGrath back again next year for another go at claiming an All Ireland title for his county. If Cork do win on Sunday they will face off in the All Ireland final against the best team in the country this year Galway and that match could be one for the ages.

Evan Coughlan
Writes about sport and stuff. When Evan thinks of a witty comment it will appear here.

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Find us on Facebook

Follow us on Twitter

Recent Posts

All-Ireland Hurling Semi-Final Preview – Cork vs. Waterford
August 12, 2017 (No Comments) by Evan Coughlan

Before the championship even began this year, the Cork hurlers were written off as a team who were going nowhere fast. After a poor 2016 season, where they were knocked out in the second round of the qualifiers to Wexford, everyone seemingly forgot that this is Cork hurling we are talking about and it would only be a matter of time before the Cork hurlers were back firing on all cylinders once again.

Waterford on the other hand were expected to at least get to the semi-final stage again this year after the heartbreak of losing to Kilkenny in a replay at this stage last year. Derek McGrath’s side haven’t looked as impressive as they did last year, but are showing a determination that could very well see them on course for their first All Ireland title since 1959.

image

So, can Waterford get to their first All Ireland Hurling Final since 2008 or will the momentum of this young Cork team stop them in their tracks. We here at TheSharpe are take a look at both teams and unveil who we think will be facing off against Galway on All Ireland Final day come September 3rd.

Cork – The Story So Far

After two poor championships in a row, Cork desperately needed to show that they could still perform at the top table in this year’s championship. After a somewhat disappointing league campaign where they managed to finish second in Division 1A and then go on and lose to 1B team Limerick in the quarter finals. To say the mood heading into the first round of the Munster Championship was subdued would be an understatement, especially considering they were facing off against All Ireland Champions Tipperary in the champs backyard of Semple Stadium.

With Tipperary heavy favourites to win against an inexperienced Cork side, the Cork team caused possibly the upset of the entire championship. The Rebels edged out a four-point victory over the defending All Ireland champs, with Conor Lehane particularly impressive on the day, firing over 10 points. After the victory over Tipp, Cork were nearly written off again as pundits and punters agreed that this could very well only be a flash in the pan and that coming up against Waterford in the Munster semi-final would be Cork’s undoing.

000e351c-870

Come Munster semi-final day Cork were even more impressive than they had been weeks previous against Tipp, winning out against Waterford by five points. Cork were now back in their first Munster final since 2014. Facing them would be a Clare team who have remained largely unimpressive since their All Ireland victory of 2013. Cork were now going into a match for the first time in this year’s championship as heavy favourites. After no one expected them to go anywhere in the Munster championship this year, Cork ended up winning the Munster title after another impressive performance against Clare, beating the Banner by five points. With Cork being extremely impressive in this year’s championship with a strong full back line and an even stronger forward line, and the fact that their supporters are willing to travel in big numbers in order to support them shows that right now there is a movement occurring in Cork hurling and once it gets going it will be very hard for any team to stop.

Waterford – The Story So Far

Waterford are a curious case. Derek McGrath’s side are an extremely talented one with three or four of the best hurlers in the country on the panel. However, for one reason or another Waterford have remained largely unimpressive in this year’s championship. First day out in Munster they lose to Cork, and it seems like everything has gone wrong yet again for them and they have to go down the qualifier route yet again. After a stroll through the first round of the qualifiers against Offaly were they scored 35 points and were not threatened once. Next they came up against Kilkenny in round 2, a team that they haven’t managed to beat since winning their last All Ireland in 1959. Waterford played the match of their lives that day and finally showed what they were capable of as they put Kilkenny to the sword for the first 60 odd minutes.

25 May 2014; Michael Walsh, Waterford, in action against Bill Cooper, left, and Patrick Horgan, Cork. Munster GAA Hurling Senior Championship, Quarter-Final, Cork v Waterford, Semple Stadium, Thurles, Co. Tipperary. Picture credit: Ray McManus / SPORTSFILE

They then decided to throw it all away and Kilkenny managed to bring the game to extra time. Now in this situation you would expect Kilkenny to go on and win the match, but Waterford came out during extra time and absolutely dismantled Kilkenny knocking out the usual favourites for the All Ireland out of the championship for the first time since 1959. Next up for Waterford was former manger Davy Fitz and his young Wexford team in the All Ireland quarter final. Waterford backed up their display against Kilkenny with a commanding display against Wexford, which never seen the Yellow Bellies closer than two points from the victors. Waterford head into their third All Ireland semi-final in a row with the weight of an expectant county on their shoulders after finally breaking the Kilkenny hoodoo.

What Will Happen Come Matchday?

So after looking at both teams and how they have played and surprised people in equal measure this year, I can only see one winner this Sunday in Croke Park and that is the men from the Rebel county, Cork. The only thing that might let Cork down this Sunday is the fact that they will not have played a competitive game in over 5 weeks come this Sunday.

I’m sorry to say that it looks like yet again Waterford are going to be the nearly men in the hurling championship, but with a hugely talented group of young players at his disposable don’t be surprised to see Derek McGrath back again next year for another go at claiming an All Ireland title for his county. If Cork do win on Sunday they will face off in the All Ireland final against the best team in the country this year Galway and that match could be one for the ages.

Evan Coughlan
Writes about sport and stuff. When Evan thinks of a witty comment it will appear here.

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Find us on Facebook

Follow us on Twitter

Recent Posts