Tuesday 6 December 2016

Cork clubs left way behind in hurling's new order

Published 10/11/2015 | 23:21

One of the arguments put forward against the introduction of the All-Ireland club championships in the early 1970s was that it would be dominated by big clubs
One of the arguments put forward against the introduction of the All-Ireland club championships in the early 1970s was that it would be dominated by big clubs

Ballygunner's comprehensive win over Glen Rovers in the Munster club semi-final on Sunday is yet another setback for Cork hurling at a time when their inter-county stock doesn't exactly have a 'Triple A' rating.

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It means that Leeside won't be represented in the Munster final for a sixth successive year but then, with the exception of Newtownshandrum, who won provincial titles in 2003-'05-'09, the last 25 years have been dismally bleak for Cork on the club scene.

Blackrock (2001) and Midleton (1991) were their only other representatives in the Munster final in that period, losing to Ballygunner and Cashel King Cormacs respectively.

It's all very different to the early years of the club championships when three Cork clubs (Blackrock 5, St Finbarr's 3, Glen Rovers 2) won ten successive Munster titles in 1971-'80. They also shared seven All-Ireland titles between them in those years.

One of the arguments put forward against the introduction of the All-Ireland club championships in the early 1970s was that it would be dominated by big clubs, like Cork's aforementioned trio.

That was the case initially but times have certainly changed on Leeside and not just on the club scene either.

Irish Independent

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