Well now we all know. Limerick are nonetheless Limerick and Cork are nonetheless Cork. Nobody actually imagined that the All-Ireland champions had been doing something apart from taking part in possum within the league and so it instructed. They noticed Cork a aim after 16 seconds in Páirc Uí Chaoimh and nonetheless ran out 2-25 to 1-17 winners. If they offer Waterford the identical therapy subsequent Saturday night time within the Gaelic Grounds, an already compressed championship may really feel achieved after six days.
John Kiely’s aspect are lengthy sufficient at this now to not be fretting over the concession of a first-minute aim. But even so, Shane Kingston’s early strike appeared like setting everybody up for a type of bumper Munster Championship afternoons; maintain your eyes on stalks till teatime. Instead, Limerick had been in a position to cruise to the standard dismantling and had the luxurious of pucking 17 wides whereas they had been at it.
“The goal caught us,” stated man of the match Diarmaid Byrnes afterwards. “We probably should have tuned in. We probably didn’t need that kick up the hole but there was only a few seconds on the clock. We got refocused and we’ll look at that again for the next day.”
All the staples of the Limerick machine that has them going for 3 Liam MacCarthys in a row had been right here in abundance. Byrnes was imperious at wing-back and tossed over six factors from distance – together with three from play – for good measure. Cian Lynch scored a degree off his knees within the second half, simply because he may.
For Cork, this can be a third big-day wash-out in a row, following final 12 months’s All-Ireland ultimate and the league decider a fortnight in the past. Their continued incapability to be taught the teachings of defeat hardly guarantees a lot for the street forward. The worst-kept secret of the week was the change of Kyle Hayes to the Limerick full-forward line, but no person appeared to let Cork in on it as they waved him by way of for a simple first-half aim. And if that was mystifying, the house given to Aaron Gillane for the second was downright confounding.
None of that’s for Limerick to concern themselves with. They can solely do what they’ll solely do. They might have disappeared from view within the early months of the 12 months however their aura by no means left the scene. They received pulling up and so they have gamers to return again and capturing to repair. They’re dancing their very own dance. It’s as much as everybody else to see if they’ll fall into the rhythm of it.
“Satisfying, yes,” stated Kiely afterwards. “Satisfying from the viewpoint of the work, how arduous the boys labored for the group and for themselves. They managed to generate an enormous quantity of power onto the pitch and to get that power exerted on the ball rather a lot. I feel that was the important thing piece, actually, so very completely satisfied about that facet of it. Seventeen wides as nicely so capturing effectivity could be one thing we’d be upset with.
“There was a question or two asked of this group in recent weeks. And I think they gave a fairly decisive answer there. These guys are incredibly united as a group, we have very high standards and they expect very high standards of themselves in the way the play the game. Our coaches expect a hell of a lot off them and we’ve got to go and raise that banner again next week. That’s the challenge.”
Facing them will likely be Waterford, who got here by way of a welcome intestine examine in Walsh Park in opposition to Tipperary. Liam Cahill’s aspect needed to knuckle down after a shaky opening half to tug off a 2-24 to 2-20 victory, with the half-time double substitution of Austin Gleeson and Jamie Barron essential to the turnaround.
It was the kind of afternoon Cahill most likely hoped for, in all fact. The effervescent sense round Waterford these previous few weeks is of a county whose time is now, who had been presumably even the competitors’s group to beat going into the weekend after closing off their league title in such rampant type. That kind of hostage to fortune was by no means going to be any good to Cahill.
“We do our best and I do my best to protect these players from that,” he stated afterwards. “Some of it’s out of our management. You have guys which have huge opinions and lots of them are relayed out within the media over the week as to the place this Waterford group are at and the place they’re going.
“Really and truly, it seems very premature because the test of it will always be championship hurling. Today was a real test for us and we’re delighted to get through it. You’d like to think it wasn’t a factor here but you’d have to ask the question afterwards was it. Yeah, 100 per cent you’d have to ask that.”
Waterford have six days to prepare for Limerick now. If the opening weekend took just a little of the bullishness out of the air within the south-east, Cahill couldn’t have requested extra from it.