Cork Hurlers - Part 2

Only finished watching the game as I was working.

Delighted for JOC.

I said on here last night. He was only one performance from reminding us of his form in 2021. Hopping he builds on this.

Was thrilled for Cathal MCCarthy too today. A solid debut and a great distributor of the ball. Well down the pecking order though but this was a fella who only made our senior team last year to fill in for an injured Conor Sull. Couldn’t meet a nicer young man.

Brian Hayes is proving me wrong and I am happy that’s the case. He’s only playing in patches though. Hoggy is becoming a passenger. Ethan T was very unlucky, had lots of possession in his short cameo and I hope to see him again.

Fellas who had Saunderosn almost nailed on for an all star are saying he’s not up to it now after one game 😂😂😂

We didn’t learn to much today but at least we got the points.
I couldn’t disagree more, he’s a young lad and I don’t want to be too hard on him but I felt he’s was poor today, running down blind ally’s with a lot of poor decision making and got lucky on a few occasions.

Hopefully the lad will take a lot of lessons from today and come back better, he’s clearly a talented hurler but very raw.

imo he should of been taken off in the second half for a more solid defender when we were under pressure.
Joc was great but he did give a shit pass towards the very end when Waterford has us against the ropes which resulted in a point for them. Undoubtedly it was tiredness but we've lost close matches like that before because of sloppy play late on in a game.

Good to get any kind of a win. Don't think anyone will carried away with a narrow win at home to a team we mashed last year who were missing more key players than we were.
Joc was great but he did give a shit pass towards the very end when Waterford has us against the ropes which resulted in a point for them. Undoubtedly it was tiredness but we've lost close matches like that before because of sloppy play late on in a game.

Good to get any kind of a win. Don't think anyone will carried away with a narrow win at home to a team we mashed last year who were missing more key players than we were.
What he did there was like something you see in an U12 match.. won the ball, burst into space, looked up and realised he had time, and then threw it back into the hurley and ran into contact instead of taking a beat and finding the right pass

In his defence I think he should never have been back there anyway.. he was busting a gut for the team and suffered a rush of blood!
I think we got an idea of what Ryan is at today. Give players a proper chance. Build their confidence. Lots of us would have dropped JOC from the panel weeks ago. But Ryan gave him time to play himself back into confidence and form. He's still a long way from the top 15, but at least tonight he can say he's still got it. It's just about bringing it out more often.

We'll see Saunderson again this league for the same reasons. Felt sorry for him today. Mixed the good with the terrible. Goals is a tough place to settle into a game from. But even after conceding a poor enough goal, he got it together and took a couple of high balls. That shows me that he he's mentally strong which a keeper needs to be, more than any other position. His puck outs were very good and very bad.

At the end of the day this is the league. Today was never going to be a real competitive game. We took something from it. We move on, knowing that our eye is still on the big prize.
A very very poor game of hurling today lads played by two teams who seriously lacked intensity and not helped by an overly finicky ref.

A win is a win but I'm very worried about our form. I have absolutely no idea what our game plan is and if anything today was a regression on the previous 2 games. In the last 15 minutes we played with no half forward line. Our puck out strategy was a shambles, our touch off. Some lads in my opinion were only making a token effort at tracking back and tackling.

On individual performances I thought Jack O Connor and Ger Millerick were our two best players. I also thought Eoin Downey and Brian Hayes did fine although I thought Hayes tired in the last 15 mins. I also thought Damien Cahalane did fine in terms of his defending and positioning although his distribution was notably and understandably rusty.

After that I failed to see too many other brightspots. There's a reason why few if any 20 or 21 year olds play in goals for intercounty teams and Saunderson had a steep learning curve there today, I expect him to learn a lot from it but Pa Collins has to remain as our number 1 for the time being.
Cathal Mccarthy is a lovely hurler in space but I'd have serious concerns about his ability to defend or to read danger. Too much lateral passing or passing to a marked team mate but he wasn't the only one guilty of it. O Donaghue and Coleman also weren't at the races either which is very disappointing considering the experience they have.

In midfield I thought Tommy showed well in patches and worked relatively hard and is worth persevering with there. Twomey looked sharp in the 8 minutes he played so was very disappointing to see him have to leave the action. Roche replaced him and was completely anonymous. His form is a major concern and hard to see him make the championship 15 at this rate.

Harnedy looked rusty. Lehane very good in the 20 mins after half time and it was very noticeable that our forward line completely disappeared when he went off. Barrett was very frustrating. He works like a dog and gets into good positions but his tackle technique is poor so gives away too many frees and his shooting is not good enough. He was the same last year. Like what is Pat Ryan and Co doing to improve these aspects of Shane's play because he could be such a big player for us if they were sorted.
I thought Hoggy was patchy again this week. Same as the last 2 games.
Shane Kingston was very poor when introduced again.

At this stage I wouldn't be 100% we can go to both Tullamore and Wexford and get the points we need to play top level league hurling next Spring.
It's only the league but I'm very deflated by the inconsistencies in our performances. As I mentioned earlier I just cannot see what we are trying to do, we run at teams and blow them away for 20 mins then we spend 50 mins passing backwards and laterally around our defence going nowhere.
I think our biggest issue going forward is a lack of dogs. You look at Limerick (hate mentioning them but they are the standard bearer). The middle eight is key, they have 8 dogs, hard fighting bastards and vg hurlers hurlers. Last 20 today, the blaas crowded the half back line and midfield and we were lost, not to mention the short passing going nowhere, especially backwards, sideways ones.
So where do we go.. Millerick, Joyce, Downey fine, part 1 relatively sorted, Dalton, Twomey, Harnedy or TOM, part 3 relatively sorted. Now the two most important dogs. part 2, who? Coleman, Fitz, Roche, ET, TOC, Meade or TOM if not HF
Now, imo. you can't play Joyce and Coleman in the same half back line, too similar, both like this playmaking non-marking role

Just on JOC, I'm a big fan and delighted he played well but I just watched the recording there, he got a yellow card after 27 seconds :lol!:
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Bit of perspective lads. Last year we were saying how the team was flying it and unbeaten in the league phase. Come ch'ship, not good enough.

In 2022, Limerick were useless in the league but then people were hailing Kiely and Kinnerk as geniuses for how they peaked for ch'ship.

I'm not saying the team will do brilliantly but absolutely everything about the league will be viewed in the context of ch'ship. We just don't know what training they are doing or what tactical shadow play is involved.
With a lack of obvious midfield options and a need for a backup centre back, do we give Ciaran Joyce a go at midfield and put Rob Downey centre back against Offaly? To do it in ch'ship would be a serious risk but midfield is a problem area and Joyce seems tailor made
A pedestrian game, poor quality throughout. On the positive side:
Brian Hayes thought BH was very good. Why did the ref not award a penalty when he was rugby tackled?
3rd quarter dominance.
Solid work rate.
More players blooded.
Harnedy and Connolly back in Action, ET even for 10 mins JOC- not a starter but hopefully a good impact from bench.

4 Quarter capitulation,
Hoggie- still class but a 30 minute sub impact for me.
Lost shape and formation- gave up on challenging in the half forward line and allowed a terrible Waterford team to push them all the way. The Blueprint needs to be two soldiers at the minimum in the HF line, I wouldn’t be giving up on SB just yet either. He needs to find his accuracy and his tacking is a little loose but he works his balls off and can make something happen.
Think CmcC is a little light for the bigger games, couldn’t picture him vs a Limerick. Eoin Downey I could easily see that.

Think they will try and play close to championship for the remainder, hope to see ER tried again at FB and DC at 5.
Coleman looked a little rusty today but the game will only help him. If we play to a system of 2 of TOM/ST/DD/SH and the others feeding off them then we can have a good year. We can’t allow the ball to come back In so cheaply. I hope to god they have learned from lazy moments during big games that cost them
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