Pre-match thoughts: Cork v. Waterford
Updated: Nov 5, 2020
Saturday, 31 October 2020, 11.30
Waterford, under new management, face Cork, under returning management, with both teams looking strong in the same places as previous years and, perhaps, with question marks over some important positions. For some reason, with changes of management (albeit a returned management in Cork) allied to the pandemic, I expected more changes to starting teams than what has been announced.
Image: Cork and Waterford players tussle.
Waterford are minus the O'Mahony brothers, Darragh Fives, Noel Connors and Maurice Shanahan. The dropping of Connors and Shanahan by new manager Liam Cahill from the get-go was a bold move that implied that a new regime was in charge. The clear motivation for the move is unclear, and it's hard to imagine that there are 26 better hurlers in the county than the two. I'd be inclined to think that a primary job of a management team is to get the maximum out of the group, giving them all a change to stake a claim, and omission from the outset precludes that and certainly makes a statement, but precisely what that statement is remains unclear.
Cork also have the appearance of familiarity. I was anticipating that Patrick Collins might take over in goals, but it appears he'll have to wait further as Anthony Nash holds on. Cork are spoiled for choice between the pipes.
Prediction: I'd have a fancy for Cork but Waterford under Cahill should be plucky.
Cork: Anthony Nash; Damien Cahalane, Colm Spillane, Sean O’ Donoghue; Christopher Joyce, Robert Downey, Mark Coleman; Bill Cooper, Tim O’ Mahony; Seamus Harnedy, Conor Lehane, Aidan Walsh; Alan Cadogan, Shane Kingston, Patrick Horgan.
Subs: Not announced at the time of writing.
Waterford: Stephen O’Keeffe; Shane Fives, Conor Prunty, Shane McNulty; Calum Lyons, Tadhg De Búrca, Austin Gleeson; Jamie Barron, Jake Dillon; Kevin Moran, Jack Fagan, Kieran Bennett; Dessie Hutchinson, Stephen Bennett, Jack Prendergast.
Subs Billy Nolan, Ian Kenny, Mark O’Brien, Mikey Kearney, Patrick Curran, Billy Power, Ciaran Kirwan, Darragh Lyons, Neil Montgomery, Shane Ryan, Kieran Power.