Corcoran knows Crokes can't afford a slow start this time
Kilmacud Crokes defender Niall Corcoran has warned that his side can't afford to repeat their slow start of 12 months ago when they take on Cuala in the Dublin SHC final in Parnell Park this afternoon.
The sides meet in the decider for the second year running with Cuala winning by a goal last year. However, they led by nine points at one stage in the first half before a stirring Crokes comeback fell just short. This time around, Corcoran (right) wants his side to hit the ground running.
"It was a big lead to claw back going in at half-time," he recalls. "We felt we hadn't played and we missed a few frees and made silly mistakes. When you give a team like Cuala that lead it is hard to claw it back. We spent a lot of energy getting that lead back and I think we got the lead but with three or four minutes to go they got back and tapped over the points.
"Con O'Callaghan came on and they had that bit of quality that they can produce off the bench. You can't give a team like that a head start so from our point of view on Saturday starting well would be important and being consistent in the whole game would be very important too."
"We came out after half-time and closed the gap but just didn't do enough but they are a serious team and they proved that by going all the way to St Patrick's Day and they have some really good forwards which every team wants so they'll take a bit of watching.
"They are going for three in a row and they have set the benchmark for clubs teams in Dublin and in Leinster so it will be a big challenge on Saturday."
Cuala broke new ground back in March when the became the first club from Dublin to win the All-Ireland club SHC title. Since transferring in from Galway almost a decade ago, Corcoran has seen the club scene in the capital make huge strides.
"Since I started playing with Crokes in 2008, it's like chalk and cheese in terms of the standard of hurling. You have Na Fianna coming through now and we barely got over the line on them in the quarter-final. They will be a serious team in a couple of years. I think they have ten lads under the age of 23. Lucan are always hard to beat, Cuala have come through. Dublin hurling needs that, having players come through from the clubs.
"Certainly come the quarter-final stage it's not as simple as people think. You saw the Brigid's-Cuala game which could have gone either way by all accounts and that's what makes a good club championship and hopefully that is reflected on the inter-county team."