Cork U20 hurlers must tap into minor talent in a bid to retain titles


THE Cork U20 hurlers start out their quest at profitable a a few-in-a-row of All-Eire titles in a several weeks, and in spite of the simple fact that a ton of the players that aided win people two titles are continue to eligible, this renewal could end up becoming the toughest marketing campaign of the ton.

The Rebels open their campaign on April 13 against Clare up in Ennis. Cork have surely gotten the much better of the Banner at underage degree in the latest seasons, and they will be seeking to proceed that dominance, but Sixmilebridge is generally a challenging spot to get a outcome.

A 7 days later on they host Limerick at Páirc Uí Rinn, and need to they emerge in both very first or next area in this mini round-robin league then they will have a Munster semi-final awaiting them on April 27. The remaining, incidentally, is on May possibly 4, but there are as well many bridges to cross prior to that arrives on to the radar.

Cork hurler Darragh Flynn celebrates a goal against Galway in the U20 All-Ireland final. Picture: Piaras Ó Mídheach/Sportsfile
Cork hurler Darragh Flynn celebrates a target versus Galway in the U20 All-Eire closing. Photograph: Piaras Ó Mídheach/Sportsfile

Of training course, past calendar year Cork experienced to carry out their full U20 marketing campaign short two of their major players, as both Shane Barrett and Alan Connolly have been active bolstering the senior panel and had been consequently ineligible for U20 beat.

This year is a similar tale provided the involvement of Dáire O’Leary and Ciarán Joyce in Cork’s league marketing campaign. Both gamers were being really influential in both of those of Cork’s latest U20 All-Ireland’s, even if O’Leary did miss the 2021 ultimate versus Galway thanks to personal injury, and both of those can be expecting to perform significant roles for Cork at senior level this 12 months, inspite of only currently being 20 many years of age, so Cork’s new U20 supervisor Donal O’Mahony will have to plan with out the influential duo.

Without the need of them, the Cork backbone is without doubt going to be weaker, so you could nicely argue that becoming missing O’Leary and Joyce in 2022 is truly a significantly even bigger handicap than missing Barrett and Connolly in 2021.

Cork’s means to plough on without the need of the Watergrasshill and Castlemartyr defenders could be incredibly dependent on the availability and hurling conditioning of Cork’s All-Ireland profitable small centre-again from previous calendar year Ben O’Connor. The St Finbarr’s youngster has been chaotic starring at comprehensive-back again for PBC in their run to the Munster Faculties Senior Cup last but the Cork management will now hope that he can entirely focus on hurling.

Normally you would worry about the ability of a youthful hurler to perform such a bodily demanding part as centre-back again on an U20 aspect. 

O’Connor is undoubtedly not lacking in that regard, as he resembled a 20-yr-outdated taking part in with 17-calendar year-olds in previous year’s small campaign. Regrettably, the phrase is he’ll be concentrating on his rugby profession for the time currently being.

O’Mahony and his selectors may be tempted to appear at final year’s small facet to fill O’Leary’s full-back again jersey as very well, as Kevin Lyons from Ballygarvan could perfectly make the move up straight from insignificant to U20 inter-county degree in a crucial position.

Luckily there are a good deal extra expert players to fill out the defensive berths, with the likes of Eoin Downey, Ethan Twomey and Brian O’Sullivan all nonetheless there from previous year, when Shane Kingston from Ballinora and Midleton’s Ciarmhac Smyth, who was instrumental in the county title win very last calendar year, are also serious defensive options.

 Eoin O'Leary, CBC,  putting pressure on Ciarmhac Smyth, Midleton CBS, during their Harty Cup clash last winter. Picture: Dan Linehan
Eoin O’Leary, CBC,  placing pressure on Ciarmhac Smyth, Midleton CBS, for the duration of their Harty Cup clash previous wintertime. Picture: Dan Linehan

So, even without the senior contingent, the U20 defence should really nonetheless be a sturdy one.

Further forward the likes of Michael Mullins, Brian Keating and Darragh Flynn are among the midfield and wing-ahead choices, but Flynn is established to overlook out with a leg personal injury picked up for Ballygiblin.

In the scoring section Luke Horgan, Daniel Hogan, Jack Cahalane, now concentrating on hurling only, and Ben Cunningham endure from previous year’s acquire. Twin player Colin Walsh and the decide on of very last year’s insignificant attackers will be readily available for selection.


It will basically be exceptionally appealing to see how lots of of that slight profitable crew that O’Mahony calls upon. That side did glance a classic crop, but inspite of that you would only be expecting three or four to go straight on to the U20 side, as it is not like Cork do not have a host of far more bodily experienced All-Ireland U20 winners to phone upon in their respective positions.

In indicating that, it would be no shock to see Jack Leahy from Dungourney and Diarmuid Healy from Lisgoold that includes. The Barrs’ William Buckley has been starring for Rochestown Higher education these days.

Many others such as Tadhg O’Connell, Eoin O’Leary, Mikey Finn, James Dwyer and Darragh O’Sullivan will be there or thereabouts also.

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