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Cork U-20 hurler, Brian Turnbull, pictured ahead of Saturday's Bord Gáis Energy All-Ireland semi-final against Kilkenny. 
Cork U-20 hurler, Brian Turnbull, pictured ahead of Saturday's Bord Gáis Energy All-Ireland semi-final against Kilkenny. 

Turnbull turning a deaf ear to criticism


By John Harrington

Cork U-20 hurler, Brian Turnbull, says he and his team-mates are turning a deaf ear to the criticism they’ve received following their Munster Final defeat to Tipperary.

It was probably amplified because they also lost narrowly to Tipperary in last year’s All-Ireland U-21 Final when they were hot favourites.

It’s now 14 years since Cork won a senior All-Ireland title, 21 years since they won an U-21 (U-20) All-Ireland, and 18 years since they won a minor All-Ireland title.

Such is the desperation among the county’s supporters for All-Ireland success that patience with a highly rated generation of young hurlers is running thin.

“Yeah, personally I feel there's a lot of that,” said Turnbull. “I think it's important to block it out and we were able to get back to training soon after and I feel training is going well.

“If we were as poor as we've been made out to be and Tipp were as good as they've been made out to be then we'd have no hope!

“I think it's lucky we don't believe that. It's important when you lose that you realise you're not as bad as you're being told you are.

“Then, more importantly, when you win, that you're not as good as people are telling you too. I think as a player it's important to have that attitude and every player in the panel does have it.

“It's about ourselves, not what people are saying outside about us. We shouldn't be reacting to them, we should be setting our own standards.

“I'm very positive going into this game anyway and the whole team is positive going into the game. Whatever is happening outside us we can't control and we feel we have a great chance of winning this game.”

Brian Turnbull of Cork in action against Craig Morgan of Tipperary during the Bord Gais Energy Munster GAA Hurling Under 20 Championship Final match between Tipperary and Cork at Semple Stadium in Thurles, Co Tipperary.
Brian Turnbull of Cork in action against Craig Morgan of Tipperary during the Bord Gais Energy Munster GAA Hurling Under 20 Championship Final match between Tipperary and Cork at Semple Stadium in Thurles, Co Tipperary.

Turnbull believes the players have found it quite easy to process the disappointment of losing the Munster Final because they played well on the night and were somewhat unfortunate to lose the game when Jake Morris scored a last-gasp goal for Tipperary.

“I guess we were initially disappointed, but I was positive enough because I felt the lads' attitude after the game was that we were in the same position as Tipperary in the sense that we were both in the semi-final,” said Turnbull.

“If you're good enough you'll win your semi-final.

“Straight enough the feeling was that there was no point feeling sorry for ourselves and that's the attitude we really brought away from it and brought to training last week.

“There was a load of positives to take from it too. We did a lot of things right on top of the few things that went wrong.

“We've been slowly building in a sense. Against Limerick, Clare, and Tipp we've improved the whole time, and hopefully we can improve again now for the Kilkenny game at the weekend.”

Turnbull isn’t looking beyond the considerable challenge of Leinster Champions Kilkenny in Saturday’s All-Ireland semi-final, but admits if this U-20 Cork team could go all the way this year and win an All-Ireland it would be a massive boost for hurling in the county.

“Yeah, definitely,” he said. “That's probably what's been lacking in Cork, that bit of silverware. I feel this group has a great opportunity to bring that to the county, but we can only focus on the Kilkenny game.

“If we start worrying about silverware now we'll lose to Kilkenny. I definitely feel though it would add a lot though for Cork if we could get there in the end.

“But to get there in the end we just have to have a single-minded focus on Kilkenny. We have to treat this match like it's our All-Ireland Final.

“I think we're ready to do what's required to win the game. We're feeling confident in our ability and we're going to have a good attitude coming into it.”

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