Derry gave Ulster kingpins Tyrone a run for their money in provincial final
ALL IRELAND MFC QUARTER-FINAL
Cork v Derry
Saturday, June 11
O’Moore Park, Portlaoise 6pm
Cork will play Derry in the All Ireland Minor Football quarter-final next Saturday looking to push past a side that will be buoyed by not only their own successes to date, but also by the achievements of the county’s senior stars.
Cork will come into the game in Portlaoise next Saturday night at 6pm super-confident after putting in a very impressive shift, seeing off the Old-Enemy by all of eleven-points last week.
A turnaround of unimaginable proportions from the game three weeks previous, Cork stormed past a struggling Kerry side that on the night showed glimpses, but in reality, were beaten in almost every aspect of the game, and could easily have gone down by more.
Speaking after the game, Cork manager Michael O’Brien was understandably thrilled with the display from his young charges with every area of the pitch delivering for the boss.
“From one to 15 and the five subs that came on, everyone had a massive performance,” said O’Brien who now has the job of keeping the young stars’ feet firmly on the ground.
“It wasn't just one or two players; it was a real team effort and that is the best and most important thing out of it.
“Our key was that we were going to run at them. And when we did that, we created loads of space because they play with a lot of guys behind the 45, but when you run at them, you create the space.”
Creating space was key to Cork’s win but also his side’s willingness to support the man with the ball according to O’Brien.
“We moved the ball from side to side and had runners all the time. That's our whole thing, to run hard at them. It worked a treat this evening. It is a case that the confidence of the whole team is very high at the moment, and we just have to keep that confidence up.
“You are going into a massive game against Derry so we have to turn around now and get organised.”
Scoring is a habit according to the manager and his side really benefitted from the game with Tipp the previous week.
“The extra game against Tipperary helped us. We got our momentum going against Tipperary. The buzz and momentum in the whole camp really lifted after the win because when you score 3-20, you know you can play. Because of that, they were coming here convinced of a massive performance, and that is what we got.”
This Saturday’s game with Derry is likely to be a very different test for the young Rebels as the side that lost out to Tyrone in the Ulster Final bring plenty of firepower with them to Portlaoise.
Eoin Higgins will likely be their main scoring threat seven converted frees in their provincial loss marked the Derry man out as one to watch this season. The side also had a good spread of other scorers that day with Odhran Murphy and Ciaran Chambers a pair to watch.
Derry will likely bring a defensive structure to the game this weekend that Kerry would have steered clear of so a change of tact is likely required if Cork are to get one over on Derry this time round.
Derry had more scoring opportunities and more scores than Tyrone however it was the four goals (along with eight points) that eventually sealed the deal – Derry managing 16 points in response.
Cork will look to attack Derry’s back line in search of some goals for themselves. Three goals against the Kingdom was no more than the boys in red deserved in Páirc Uí Rinn – that tally again would likely be enough to seal the deal this weekend.
Up front all eyes will be on the likes of Alan O’Connell of Kilshannig, Ed Myres of Naomh Aban and Mallow’s Mark Kelleher with a rampant Brian Hayes sure to again be the go to guy.
All four did really well last time out with Gearóid Daly (Mallow) at centre-back, Colm Gillespie of Aghabullogue and Colm Geary (Kilshannig) another pairing sure to make an impact against Derry.
Cork won’t get an easy ride this Saturday, but they won’t be expecting one either. All to play for here with so much on offer for the side that can secure the win.
It’s hard to look past the county that won their second minor provincial title in-a-row. Cork have all the credentials to win this one. They just need to be careful that they don’t get turned over by a county on the up.
Cork to win, but they will have to fight all the way. Cork by four.