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Cork best placed to challenge Limerick for All-Ireland glory, says Clare's Tony Kelly

The Banner star was on The Sunday Game last night and believes the Rebels ‘could be waiting in the long grass’.

Cork star forward Patrick Horgan celebrates scoring a goal against Limerick in the Munster SHC.
Cork star forward Patrick Horgan celebrates scoring a goal against Limerick in the Munster SHC.
Image: James Crombie/INPHO

2018 ALL-IRELAND CHAMPIONS, 2019 Division 1 National Hurling League winners and now, 2019 Munster champions. 

Limerick turned on the style yesterday as they recorded a 12-point victory over Tipperary to lift the Munster crown at the Gaelic Grounds.

Hitting form and gathering momentum at the right time as they now prepare for an All-Ireland semi-final, they’re undoubtedly favourably tipped — at the minute, anyway — to lift the Liam MacCarthy Cup once again in September. 

But of course, no way will that happen without one hell of a fight.

And Clare star Tony Kelly believes that Cork are best placed to challenge John Kiely’s Treatymen. When asked on The Sunday Game last night, there was no hesitation as he backed John Meyler’s Rebels as the side “waiting in the long grass”.

Who do you think would be the leading contender to stop them [Limerick], if they were to be stopped?

“Obviously they’re in a great position now having won well today,” Kelly told Des Cahill after their win over Liam Sheedy’s Tipp.

“The one team that I think there won’t be much talk about heading into the semi-finals is Cork. I think if Cork get back to Croke Park… they have a nice little run of it, they’re out against Westmeath next and then it would be Kilkenny.

“If they can get over Kilkenny, you’d be fancying them then heading in. If Cork get their tail up at all, a couple of games behind them. We saw what they did last year against Limerick in Croke Park, there was nothing in it. 

Beat them this year in the league as well, and the championship. So if there is a team out there, I think Cork could be waiting in the long grass.

The Leesiders beat Limerick on a scoreline of 1-26 to 1-19 at the Gaelic Grounds in May while their 2019 league win was 2-21 to 1-21, also on the Shannonsiders’ home patch.

That said, they ended their provincial campaign with a five-point defeat to Kelly’s own Clare side in Ennis.

Westmeath are up next for Cork in the preliminary quarter-finals, with that clash pencilled in for Mullingar on 6/7 July. The winner of that then faces the Cats the following weekend, with provincial champions Limerick and Wexford safely into the semi-finals on 27/28 July.

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Emma Duffy

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