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Ronan Curran: 'Some people might bluff it but there's a lot of fear in inter-county hurling'

Cork’s Ronan Curran is this week’s guest on the Warriors podcast.

Ronan Curran in action for Cork in the 2003 championship.
Ronan Curran in action for Cork in the 2003 championship.
Image: INPHO

WHAT’S THE DOMINANT emotion after your Munster senior championship debut?

Joy at the victory, a chance to celebrate with a place in the final secured?

For Cork hurler Ronan Curran it was simply relief that all had gone smoothly when he made his bow back in 2003 against Clare in Thurles.

The two-time All-Ireland senior champions and three-time All-Star winner was our guest this week on Warriors, the podcast for The42 members.

Curran picked out the three favourite games from his playing career and the topics of nerves in trying to make it at senior inter-county level came up when he reflected on that game 17 years ago.

“You’d definitely be grateful because straight away when we came in, he (Donal O’Grady) said that’s your position to lose, he had me in for the first challenge game on, I got great experience in there.

“There’s a selfishness when you’re there in your first game as well, you want to get through it. You want to play well, you want to establish yourself so it’s a lot of relief really.

“Some people might bluff it but there’s a lot of fear in inter-county hurling. You’re out there on the big stage, television obviously, 40,000 at it and you’re there to be taken to the cleaners by any of those players because every player on that pitch can play hurling especially a fella like Tony Griffin and speed like that.

“So there is a bit of selfishness, you’re delighted to make it through the game and say right I’m ready for this going forward.”

The St Finbarr’s club man took us back to the key moments as he developed into an inter-county senior regular. He was part of a Cork team that had a fierce rivalry with Kilkenny but in his college days in CIT he had a different relationship with the likes of Jackie Tyrrell and Aidan Fogarty.

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ronan-curran-and-aidan-fogarty Ronan Curran in action against Aidan Fogarty Source: Lorraine O'Sullivan/INPHO

“I loved it to be fair. Jackie wasn’t the same character as he was in 2006 when he took over as one of the best corner-backs to play the game. He enjoyed his college days, he wasn’t a stranger to Jackie Lennox’s (chipper)!

“But what a hurler. I was out centre-back and he was behind me, you knew that when the ball went in, he was coming out hard with it. Just a very intelligent hurler, you could see it from day one and a lovely fella. We’d still get on, games of golf and meet up.

“Great guy, great hurler and Taggy was the same. Taggy was unbelievable in college. He hadn’t really made the Kilkenny setup in 2003 but then towards the end of it he became an unbelievable hurler in Kilkenny, very hard worker and very hard fella to mark.”

We also delved into those Cork-Kilkenny battles, Tommy Walsh’s training sessions with St Finbarr’s and the challenge of taking over the centre-back spot from Brian Corcoran.

To listen to the full interview and listen to an 18-episode back catalogue featuring the likes of Liam McHale, Ken McGrath, Johnny Doyle and Seanie McMahon, subscribe at members.the42.ie.

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About the author:

Fintan O'Toole

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