Sport Hurling

Sunday 22 September 2019

Egan targets Rebel success to rescue poor season

MUNSTER U-21 HC FINAL (Extra-time if necessary)
Limerick v Cork, Gaelic Grounds, 7.30, P Casey (Waterford). *Live TG4

CORK U-21 captain William Egan believes a provincial title at this grade would be the ideal shot in the arm for hurling in the county.

After a disappointing season for the county's senior side, Kilbrin clubman Egan knows his team could help lift the gloom in the Rebel County.

"It would be massive for Cork hurling after the year we have had and all the negativity," he said.

"People have been saying Cork hurling is in trouble, but a win against Limerick in front of a big crowd would be a massive boost."

Their cause was helped after the senior footballers were unexpectedly dumped out of the running for the Sam Maguire, meaning Aidan Walsh is available to hurl full-time with the young Rebels -- Walsh scored 1-1 in the semi-final victory over reigning All-Ireland champions Tipperary.

"It was hugely important for us to beat Tipperary," said Egan. "We had lost two years in a row and there was huge pressure on us after the seniors were beaten. People were saying Cork hurling was dead and buried and it was vital we won."

Standing in their way of a first provincial title at the grade since 2007 are a Limerick side who had an impressive seven-point win over favourites Clare in their semi-final.

Kevin Downes hit 1-4 in that game and sees success tonight as the ideal stepping stone for the county's senior side, who return to Division 1 hurling next year.

"Limerick needs success and it is very important we win," he said. "There will be a big Limerick crowd and they will be our 16th man. We hope we can deliver. Our senior team is young and winning will help us bridge the gap and push on."

Odds: Limerick 9/4, Cork 2/5, Draw 10/1

Verdict: Cork

Donnchadh Boyle

Irish Independent

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