Cork and Waterford face off to determine who will face Galway in the All-Ireland Senior Hurling Championship final on the first Sunday in September, and excitement levels are reaching fever pitch.
While many expected the Déise to feature in the last four this year, the same can’t be said of the Rebels. But it has been Cork that have come through the direct route, as they swept through the best Munster had to offer to claim the provincial crown.
The two sides met in June, with Cork running out 0-23 to 1-15 winners. However, if they are to repeat the trick and out-gun Waterford for the second time this summer, they will need these men to perform.
Nash is one of the real leaders in this team, and will be needed to guide some of the less experienced players through the entire process. With the bitter taste of the 2014 semi-final flop still lingering, the Rebels will know that anything less than a top performance will be enough.
Nash’s puck-outs have been key so far this summer, and it will be paramount that he brings the same level of precision if Cork are to navigate their way around this Déise system.
Nash will need to be at his best.
Were it not for Conor Whelan, Coleman would be a shoo-in for Young Hurler of the Year. The Blarney man has been a real boost for the Rebels this year, and has been utterly reliable at wing-back. However, while the entire half-back line have provided an attacking platform for the team, they may need to tighten up in defence.
If we see another big performance from Coleman, Cork could be well on their way to September.
Cork failed to raise a green flag in the Munster semi-final, and while this was largely down to the Herculean efforts of Stephen O’Keeffe, Kieran Kingston will be worried that they could struggle if this happens again.
Harnedy made a huge difference that day in Thurles, fielding several high balls at crucial stages. But he remains perhaps the Rebels’ most lethal goal threat if he gets a sniff of it, so could be deployed closer to the goal.
Make sure to check out the latest episode of The 16th Man, where we question if the Super 8s is already doomed, hear from Mickey Harte and Jim Gavin after their quarter-final victories, discuss Galway’s thrilling win over Tipperary, and look ahead to Cork vs Waterford.