Rebels keep defying lack of underage success
Cork's Munster final win was all the evidence needed that you don't need underage success to prosper at senior level as long as you keep filtering players through the system, writes Cyril Farrell.
Outsiders of five for provincial honours, it has been a remarkable turnaround and the Rebels just keep going from strength to strength.
Clare targeted Conor Lehane and tried to keep him quiet, and succeeded to some extent, by allowing Cork to play it short to Damien Cahalane, but the full-forward line went to town. They were afraid of Anthony Nash but he still hurt them, and Patrick Horgan and Alan Cadogan were on fire.
Their movement was a sight to behold: they never stopped and Cork easily won the tactical battle.
Clare were very naive. With Colm Galvin sweeping in defence, they were short a man inside and Shane O'Donnell must have been pulling his hair out: he was starved. The Banner mightn't be starting their best team because they need to be more attack minded.
They will get better with games but a tough assignment awaits against Tipp or Waterford. The draw has suited Tipp and while some say they needed a test, getting confidence back and Seamie Callanan shooting the lights out again could be just what the doctor ordered.
They were razor sharp up front but they still look caught for pace at the back and that will worry Michael Ryan.