Corks thrashing of Laois in Saturday’s All Ireland preliminary round will once again raise question marks over the back door system, the demolition job not providing anything substantial to either side.
Cork will face far more sterner test’s that’s for sure, while Laois manager Brendan Fennelly will have to rebuild the shattered confidence of his players who woke up on Sunday having been on the worst drubbing ever in the modern game.
Patrick Horgan and Paudie O’Sullivan both netted hat tricks as Cork ran in 10 goals, a feat that enters the records books as a modern day championship record while the 66 points recorded in the game is also a one for the statisticians to put to one side.
But while we learned little of the credentials of Cork as genuine All Ireland contenders we can at least compare their feat to some of the other high scoring games that have graced our GAA fields.
Lars Corbett grabbed the headlines last year when he stopped the drive for 5 with a hat trick against Kilkenny in the All Ireland Final however he wasn’t the first to achieve such a feat; back in 1970 Eddie O’Brien of Cork scored 3 goals as the rebels ran out 6-21 to 5-10 winners over Wexford in a remarkable game for fans.
However one of the most amazing feats of individual scoring happened some 16 year earlier in 1954 when Nicky Rackard, not just a second tier cup competition, wrote his name into hurling folklore with 7 goals and 7 points as Wexford racked up 12-17 to Antrim’s 2-3 to set up a final against Cork, which they went on to lose by 3 points.
2 years later the legendary Rackard was at it again, scoring 5 goals and 4 points as Wexford beat Galway to set up a re-match against Cork, this time Rackard getting the winner’s medal he deserved.
Jumping forward to 1963, Waterford proved that scoring goals doesn’t always guarantee you the trophy when they managed to score 6 goals but still lose, as they went down in the All Ireland 4-17 to 6-8 against Kilkenny, who themselves were dethroned in equally spectacular fashion a year later losing 5-13 to 2-08 against Tipperary.
Moving on to more modern times, the 1989 Final saw Tipperary hammer Antrim 4-24 to 3-09 while many will recall the titanic battle between Tipperary and Cork in the 1991 Munster final replay, the 4-19 to 4-15 encounter tallying up a total of 58 points.
The first All Ireland of the Millennium saw Kilkenny thrash Offaly 5-15 to 1-14 while Waterford received a similar drubbing when they lost by 23 points in the 2008 final 3-30 to 1-13, which was the biggest win in a final since Cork had hammered Antrim by 27 points, 5-16 to 0-4 in the 1943 Final.
Cork equalled their own record in that ’43 final having previously beaten Galway by a similar score line in 1928 while prior to that the biggest win in a final had been recorded by Limerick whey they smashed 9 goals past a shell shocked Wexford in 1918, to win by 26 points in a 9-5 to 1-3 final.
Cork won’t have it as easy against Offaly although with the province of Munster, more so than Leinster and Ulster, boosting 5 teams capable of shaking up the All Ireland in the form of Tipperary, Waterford, Cork, Limerick and Clare, whose not to bed of a similar drubbing being dished out in 2012.
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