Hard to know quite what to make of either side after Sunday’s Munster championship opener between Cork and winners Tipperary in Thurles, at which Davy Fitzgerald was an interested observer.
Tipp looked to be coasting and Cork were at sixes and sevens. But the Rebels, though rusty, always have that 10-minute rally in them and they completely took over in a scintillating spell after Seamus Callinan’s goal. But the effort it took to reel the provincial title-holders back in cost them, with players out on their feet in the heat before the end as Liam Sheedy’s side recovered their composure in time. Just about.
His men were clearly disappointed but Denis Walsh won’t overly-mind taking the scenic route through the qualifiers; more match practice will improve fitness and give him a chance to try and gel some sort of settled system. Though that’s assuming they take Offaly, who are still on a steep learning curve on the evidence of Saturday’s Leinster first-round win by Colm Bonnar’s charges at Wexford Park.
Former Waterford star Paul Flynn made a promising debut as an RTÉ analyst alongside Pete Finnerty the same evening, bringing a current and refreshingly-informed perspective to proceedings. He was equally impressive on the Sunday Game highlights programme the following night, showing some of the station’s seasoned ‘experts’ how it should be done. More insight, less blather.