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Munster Hurling Analysis: Cork Get Key Match-ups Wrong; Limerick Feel Sean Finn's Absence

Munster Hurling Analysis: Cork Get Key Match-ups Wrong; Limerick Feel Sean Finn's Absence
Matt Hurley
By Matt Hurley
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The penultimate weekend of the Munster hurling championship provided a load of excitement but some interesting findings too.

Weather it'd be Diarmuid Ryan's brilliance, Cork's poor shot selection, Tipperary's accuracy, Limerick's doggedness, there was a lot to take in.

Clare v Cork - turnovers sink the Rebels

The first game of the day saw Clare face Cork in a game in which the Banner knew a win would seal a Munster final spot.

In a packed Ennis, it was tight both on the scoreboard and in a literal sense.

Instantly, the pick of the matchups saw Cork picking up Clare's diamonds in Tony Kelly and Peter Duggan with Tommy O'Connell and Damien Cahalane respectively.

O'Connell on Kelly was a risky one from a Cork point of view and did not go well for Pat Ryan's charges as Kelly hit 1-4 from play in the first half.

O'Connell, who only made his championship debut last season, was brought off early in the second half.


Equally, the Cahalane v Duggan matchup didn't go well for the Rebels either.

The Kelly goal in the first half epitomized this with Duggan causing all sorts of problems under the high ball before a net finish from TK.

Cork deployed Seamus Harnedy in a similar role as Duggan down the other end and it was Conor Cleary who took the marking role.


The full back did well in the opening stages but unfortunately went off in the first half through injury with Rory Hayes and Adam Hogan combining to take on Harnedy.

Having Cleary back in the latter stages of championship will be vital.

The experienced Cork forward was a thorn all day and a great outlet to utilize.


Arguably though, Clare should've won this sooner than the end, they hit 41 shots in total compared to Cork's 34.

If there was a side to win out, Clare deserved it but 13 wides will certainly not be good enough for an All-Ireland title moving forward.

One positive in shooting terms for the Banner was wing back Diarmuid Ryan who converted four out of his five shots, 75% shot accuracy.



Marauding defenders is something common in the modern day of hurling but to have a defensive player to shoot accurately and provide clutch moments such as the winner will be a big boost for Brian Lohan.

A lot of turnovers too in this match, showing the determination from both but the sloppy errors too.

For Cork, conceding 41 turnovers won't be good enough to beat Limerick if the Treaty are on it.



Tipp v Limerick - Sean Finn's void felt keenly

Speaking of Limerick, they earned a point away from home to Tipperary, setting up a mouth watering clash with the Rebels next Sunday.

The injury to Sean Finn has had a major effect on the All Ireland champions, it seems though.

It was his replacement Mike Casey who was chosen to pick up Tipp livewire Jake Morris, who bagged 0-5. It was a nightmare day for Casey.

Alan Tynan was tasked with stopping the influence of Kyle Hayes and succeeded while Cathal Barrett was there to frustrate Seamus Flanagan in an interesting tussle.

The matchups were spot on from a Tipp point of view, what about the shot accuracy?

Their percentage was at 73%, 25 taken from 34. Limerick hit 25 on target out of 43.

Limerick may have won the turnovers, 34 to 29 but Tipp scored an impressive 0-19 to 0-13 from turnovers.



In almost all aspects of play, Tipp trumped Limerick.

Was this game a sign of Limerick digging out a result again?

By watching the game and looking at the stats, it certainly seemed that way.

That is why they're regarded as the best team in the land.

Gearoid Hegarty, Kyle Hayes and Cian Lynch didn't seem to be their brilliant selves but others still stood up.

Cathal O'Neill, Aaron Gillane, Declan Hannon and substitute Graeme Mulcahy were the guys to show up.

O'Neill scored 5 from his 6 shots, a game where the youngster came of age.

To beat a Cork team that have a never say die attitude though, the Limerick key players have to be on it from the get go.

As for Tipp, a game against Waterford awaits where a win would get them a Munster final.

Perform like they have in 2023 thus far, and this task should be doable.

A final day of drama next Sunday is just under a week away, a day worth looking forward to.

SEE ALSO: Jackie Tyrrell Thinks 'Mental Baggage' Causing Issues For Limerick




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