BY KIERAN McCARTHY
CORK U21 manager Sean Hayes has warned his side against complacency in their Munster championship opener against Clare next Wednesday night (March 9th), at Cooraclare (7.30pm).
Last season’s defeated finalists – denied a fifth successive Munster title last season by Tipperary – make the trip to the Banner county in a quarter-final of the 2016 competition with a place in the semi-final away to Waterford a week
later up for grabs.
In Cork’s first game last season, they struggled to a 5-8 to 2-12 win away to Limerick at the Gaelic Grounds, and Hayes feels that a lesson was learned from that scare.
Cork won’t take Clare for granted, he insists.
‘We need to learn from last year. We took Limerick a bit for granted and they almost caught us. That won’t happen this year. There is no complacency, and if we get beaten by Clare it won’t be because we have taken them for granted. We are very wary of the Clare challenge,’ said Hayes, as he heads into his third season as Cork U21 manager.
Brian O’Driscoll, Ian Maguire and Kevin Crowley are three mainstays from last season’s team that aren’t involved this year, but Hayes is happy with the overall balance of the team.
‘It’s a good blend but we won’t know until we get out there against Clare. We have a more even team this year, it’s a more settled outfit,’ he said.