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Cork 'optimistic' over injuries, Tipp 'thrilled' over red card overturn and no concerns over Gaelic Grounds

The sides are gearing up for Sunday’s All-Ireland U21 hurling decider.

Tipperary boss Liam Cahill and Cork manager Denis Ring at today's Bord Gáis Energy All-Ireland U21 final media day.
Tipperary boss Liam Cahill and Cork manager Denis Ring at today's Bord Gáis Energy All-Ireland U21 final media day.
Image: Ramsey Cardy/SPORTSFILE

CORK BOSS DENIS Ring is ‘optimistic’ their injury concerns will clear up and Tipperary manager Liam Cahill is ‘thrilled’ to have a key forward available after a red card, as both gear up for a chance to boost their respective county’s fortunes in Sunday’s Bord Gáis Energy All-Ireland U21 hurling final.

Cork are set to give the trio of David Griffin, Daire Connery and Declan Dalton ‘every chance’ to prove their fitness. Griffin hasn’t played since the Munster U21 final after damaging his hamstring in a senior training session with Cork before their All-Ireland semi-final, Connery hurt his knee in a club game with Na Piarsaigh and Dalton damaged his knee in the All-Ireland semi-final victory over Wexford.

“We’re going to give them until Saturday to prove they’re right,” said Ring.

“We’ll give them every chance possible. It’s looking positive. We’re optimistic. We’re doing everything and they’re doing everything possible to get right.”

Tipperary have no injury concerns with attacker Mark Kehoe free to play after the red card he was shown in the semi-final success against Galway, was overturned last week.

“He’s a big player, so absolutely delighted for Mark that the card was rescinded, thrilled for the individual himself,” said Cahill.

“At the time in an intense match and battle like that, it probably looked worse than it was. But actually when we went through the appeals process and were able to prove through video footage that the intent wasn’t there, in fairness to the appeals committee, they had a decision made fairly quickly on it.”

Both managers are confident that the Gaelic Grounds pitch will be in perfect condition after last night’s homecoming for Limerick’s All-Ireland final celebrations.

The 5.30pm throw-in time on a Sunday evening represents unusual scheduling for an All-Ireland decider but the pair are determined it will not hamper their preparations.

“We were very happy with the pitch for the semi-final, it was in excellent condition,” said Cahill.

“I know Limerick have had their homecoming and a fair amount of people on it, I’m sure that pitch will be fine. It hasn’t been bad weather. I’d a guy down there last night that was at the homecoming and he said the field was as hard as a rock. So there was going to be no issue with it come Sunday. There was so much grass on the field.

“The time and the venue and the fixture, there’s not a lot we can do about it. We have no control over these things. It’s probably more difficult for supporters than anybody else. Limerick for us, should be a good incentive for people to get in from north Tipperary at least that are on the border with Limerick. We can’t have too many complaints about that.”

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Ring was in agreement with Cahill’s views.

“We wouldn’t care or when it’s on. We’ve a philosophy that we’re engaged in the process to get to an All-Ireland final and deliver a performance when it matters.

“We control the controllables. There’s a whole load of things about venue, about time or whatever, that’s totally irrelevant to us. That’s not going to win or lose the game.

“I know a lot of people in Limerick GAA, they’re proud of the fact that they have an U21 All-Ireland (in the Gaelic Grounds). These celebrations have to happen, it’s a nice problem to have to have these celebrations.

“I would trust the Limerick county board to do everything possible. I know that they had coverings on underneath the stage last night. I know they had a tent on the far side of the pitch to cover the Clare goal side of it.

“I think they left the grass grow a bit long to add a bit of cushioning to it. The surface is rock hard up there. I don’t expect there to be any problem.

“The match is going to take place. Whatever shape it is in, it’s up to us to adapt. The same as Tipperary will.”

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Fintan O'Toole

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