Cork hurlers have edge and energy Clare lack
Dublin were also very impressive in defeating Wexford without key man Danny Sutcliffe
Cork have real momentum now and big support behind them for a home Munster final. They’re going to take beating there – and anywhere else this summer.
One of the interesting things about the summer is how relatively steady the form of 2013 has been. Of last year’s All-Ireland semi-finalists only Clare – suffering from the after-effects of last year – haven’t maintained the momentum.
Limerick and Cork are back in the Munster final and Dublin will be in the Leinster showdown next month as well. Saturday evening was a very good win for them, particularly facing into it without first-choice goalkeeper, All Star forward Danny Sutcliffe and doubts over Liam Rushe. In the end they were always able to keep Wexford at bay.
It was a great occasion. The huge crowd was just willing Wexford to corner Dublin and if they’d managed it, it would have been a very tight corner and they would have struggled to get out.
Instead, they kept afloat, most critically in the second quarter when Alan McCrabbe – a great addition to have back and excellent at finding scoring spaces that Wexford just couldn’t manage – got off some great shots to keep them in it and in the second half when Conal Keaney powered into it and took over to keep it beyond Wexford’s reach.
Dublin shouldn’t have been leading at half-time, though, and Wexford effectively never recovered from that.
Even after the break Wexford should have made more of their chances but instead, Dublin got away and when the margin slipped to three, they got it back out to six in no time.
It was a performance that showed their experience and the depth in the panel. This was gratifying for Anthony Daly, given Dublin’s “one season on, one season off” syndrome in the last few years. On this evidence they’ll be match for most.
From a Wexford point of view there were definite positives, although Liam Dunne is going to be disappointed. They have plenty of talented young players but inexperience led to over-anxiety and errors.
There were too many wides, a couple of picks off the ground and turning over a free.
Conor McDonald was outstanding on Dublin’s All Star full back Peter Kelly but Wexford didn’t get enough on the scoreboard for all of the possession he was wining and then in the key switch, Dublin moved Paul Schutte onto him and the threat became more manageable.
For the Leinster final Dublin will hope to have Sutcliffe back and Rushe improved with match practice. Going in as champions they’ll hardly find it as intimidating as at times in the past.