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Dublin: 12°C Monday 19 April 2021

'We'll probably be tearing the heads off each other!' - Family affair for Cork hurlers

Twin brothers Daniel and William Kearney are both members of Cork’s senior hurling panel.

Daniel Kearney helped Sarsfields to another Cork senior hurling crown last year.
Daniel Kearney helped Sarsfields to another Cork senior hurling crown last year.
Image: Tommy Grealy/INPHO

WILLIAM KEARNEY WAS one of a number of new faces drafted into the Cork senior hurling panel at the start of the year.

He was an impressive member of the Sarsfields squad that collected four of the last seven county senior hurling titles on Leeside and saw plenty of game time throughout the course of the Allianz Hurling League.

His step-up to senior intercounty ranks saw William link up with twin brother Daniel, who will partner Aidan Walsh at midfield in tomorrow’s Munster senior hurling semi-final against Waterford.

Daniel made his senior championship debut against Tipperary in 2012 and is now firmly established in the Cork engine room.

William Kearney William Kearney lost his place on the Cork team for last month's League final.

William, meanwhile, is named among the subs for the Waterford clash and there’s been plenty of banter between the twins in the build-up to Cork’s first championship outing of the 2015 season.

Daniel smiled: “When I came into the Cork panel it was the only break we got from each other.

“Now we’re going to training together and we’re bickering in the car about some stupid argument that always arises over nothing.

“He’s actually starting the same job as me now in the summer. We’ll probably be tearing the heads off each other!”

Daniel admits breaking back into the Cork team will be a challenge for William, who dropped to the bench for last month’s Allianz League final against Waterford, after featuring in the quarter-final and semi-final victories over Wexford and Dublin respectively.

Daniel Kearney and John OÕDwyer 17/8/2014 Daniel Kearney will be a key man for Cork tomorrow. Source: Cathal Noonan/INPHO

“I still think a lot of getting onto inter-county is a bit of luck, getting your chance and taking it,” Daniel reflects.

“It can harder to break into a backline because forwards move in and out and the backs are set.

“I’ve just told him to be confident and go for it. The difference at inter-county and club is that with the club you can look up and pick out a pass. At inter-county it has to be instinct.

“It’s the same if you’re moving between half-forward and midfield, they’re totally different.

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“Sometimes you’ve got to accept you make mistakes, learn for the next time.”

Tomorrow’s clash presents Cork with the chance to atone for their ten-point loss to Waterford in the League final. 

Derek McGrath Derek McGrath's astute thinking will provide problems for Cork. Source: Cathal Noonan/INPHO

And while the Rebels got a good look at how Derek McGrath sets his team up, Daniel admits that the Déise are still difficult to figure out.

“I’d seen a picture in the paper of how they set up, but it’s a lot different when you’re facing it.

“It’s new, even though Clare did set up a bit like that in 2013 and Kilkenny withdraw their half-forwards a lot.

“With their spare man you don’t know where he’ll end up, it could be in the full-back line or out in midfield, so you don’t know what tactic you should do.

“Do you put a man up or do you hold back? We’ve learned a lot about it the last day though, so hopefully we can put it right.

Anthony Nash Anthony Nash and Cork endured a miserable Allianz League final against Waterford. Source: Cathal Noonan/INPHO

“Our game plan is generally to get it in fast because if you’re messing around you’re giving the backs time to set up.

“You can’t just be hitting it in straight against them though.

“We all love 15-on-15, that’s the great game, but sport is competitive and managers will think of whatever they can to gain an advantage.

“You saw Limerick and Clare both withdrawing to give more space to the forwards and crowd the middle.”

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About the author:

Jackie Cahill

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