How Cork's substitutions changed the game against Kilkenny 1 year ago

How Cork's substitutions changed the game against Kilkenny

"He is, in my opinion, the fastest hurler in Ireland."

It seems fairly obvious that when a substitute like Shane Kingston comes on and scores seven points from play, you can say that he made the impact anyone would want from their sub.

Advertisement

However, substitutions also lead to shake-ups in formations and debates over who plays where exactly, and when Cork were in the melting pot against a fierce Kilkenny side, that's exactly what swung it in their favour.

They originally opted to have Jack O'Connor in the full forward line (and you can see the thinking behind that), but when the Rebels threw on Alan Cadogan in the full forward line, therefore allowing O'Connor to move out to the half forward line, it changed their whole dynamic.

Speaking on the GAA Hour, Colm Parkinson explains how the substitutes changed the game for Cork.

"Obviously the change in the game was Kingston coming on, he came on in the 42nd minute because Kilkenny had started the second half well again, and Cadogan came on in the 42nd minute in the corner.

Advertisement

"Jack O'Connor then went out to the wing and he ran amok out in the wing and he looked a much better option out there, because he can skin lads, and doesn't have to run into dead alleys.

"The big thing about Shane Kingston is, from me watching it, he occupied Padraig Walsh, and Padraig Walsh couldn't sweep, Kilkenny had no sweeper really in the second half.

"Cork played all their forwards in the forwards - who would have thought it? Like imagine this outbreaking realisation that if you play six forwards up there, then the other team doesn't have a sweeper."

Former Galway star, Damien Hayes, knows what it's like to play on the big stage, and also realises the struggles of being an inside forward at at times.

Advertisement

"Padraig Walsh was doing sweeper for Kilkenny in the first half, even though Patrick Horgan was going to town, but Cadogan came on, and Jack O'Connor came out to wing-forward.

"I know this from being a corner forward, but Jack O'Connor in my opinion is the fastest hurler in Ireland at the moment, without question.

"He puts the ball on the hurl, he starts soloing, his whole body's moving, head, shoulders, legs everything, he's absolutely going a 100 miles an hour.

"But the whole thing is, you can be the fastest player you want, but sometimes the ball isn't coming into the full forward line, and when he got released out to wing forward, it was like a new lease of life.

Advertisement

"He was allowed to get onto breaks, he was able to call for balls, and that made a huge difference. Then Cadogan came on in corner forward, even though Tommy Walsh had quite a good game, but Cadogan scored three points and could have scored a goal.

"Jack O'Connor isn't the finished article, he went through and he pulled off that great save off Murphy, but he actually should have laid off the hand pass into Patrick Horgan that time, and it definitely would have been a goal."