After the Allianz League is over and dusted off and the Dr. Croke Cup residing in Waterford for the fourth time, it’s a quick turnaround to championship hurling with just a single weekend off for winner and runner-up Cork.
Both sides engage in opening clashes throughout Sunday’s week, with intriguing talking points centered around each game.
Cork’s first game is possibly the highlight of the weekend when the Rebels take on Limerick at Páirc Uí Chaoimh, a repeat of last year’s All-Ireland final. Having also met in the semi-finals of Munster last season and the contract edged ahead in both games, Cork are hoping for a result that better reflects their 2-19 to 1-13 league win in February.
But with two hours to go on that game, Liam Cahill’s Deise is greeted by an enthusiastic home crowd at Walsh Park to take on the Waterford manager’s native Tipperary in the day’s most intriguing subplot.
After two years at the helm of the Suirsiders which resulted in an All-Ireland final and semi-final appearance, the former Tipp Minor, U20 and U21 boss were widely expected to return home and, following the departure of Liam Sheedy, the Premier would take over summer.
But although Cahill called the opportunity “a great honor” and stated that his ambition to lead his home district “remains intact”, Cahill called for staying at Waterford, with Colm Bonnar eventually being called to the role.
And after watching his team finally take silver after seven losses in Munster, All-Ireland and league decisions since 2015, Desie legend John Mullane is full of appreciation for what was clearly difficult for Cahill.
“It was a massive statement of intent from him to make that decision,” Mullane said in collaboration with the Alliance on The Throw-In podcast.
“And there was tremendous appreciation from the players and supporters (for him) for making this difficult decision.
“Let’s face it, it’s not easy to turn down your district when they call.
“But you see, previous managers from Tipperary have turned it down and I think if you break it all down it was the right thing to do.”
The key to Cahill’s success so far has been Mikey Bevans with his bond and the fact that Cahill checked the name of the coach who has been his right-hand man since he first took charge at the tipping minors showed the importance of Bevans
And Mullane was also keen to give credit to the Toomevara man ahead of his All-Ireland alignment.
“Why would he walk away from a Waterford project that he and Mikey Bevans have invested two years in and when they knocked on the door?” he added.
“Year three of a project is potentially the year that a team under a management team might peak.
“So for me, I think it was a no-brainer and kudos to him for making that decision.
“He was justified at the weekend and got his fair reward. Please God there is more to come for him and Mikey.”
https://www.independent.ie/sport/gaelic-games/the-throw-in/john-mullane-says-liam-cahill-now-getting-just-rewards-for-tough-decision-to-turn-native-county-down-last-summer-41530564.html John Mullane says Liam Cahill is now getting “only rewards” for the difficult decision to turn down home district last summer