Rebels bring Sam home

AT TIMES it was slippy and sloppy, but yesterday’s All-Ireland football success for Cork is a thing of beauty now.

Conor Counihan’s side claimed the county’s seventh football title in much the same way they’ve navigated their way through a tough season – with a dramatic come-from-behind one-point success against Down at Croke Park.

The Rebels looked to be on their way to yet another Croke Park disappointment after a dismal first-half display, but they turned things around once more to claim Cork’s first title since 1990.

Amid celebrations, Counihan revealed how his players had dealt with the brickbats and constant carping this season. “We had to maintain positivity. The best way we have managed that is to ignore those negative people and the critics. There are some (critics) out there who are legitimate and there are others who, unfortunately, whether it is sport or anything else, do it on the basis that it earns dollars,” he said.

The new champions have applied a blue-collar work ethic to their football this season that may not have swayed the purists, but ensured Cork got over the line.

“If you surround yourself with positive people, then you are going to get positive results. But if you have negative people, you will get negative results.”

As soon as Cork celebrations die down, GAA management in the county will seek Counihan’s agreement to remain on for a second term but they may have their work cut out, with speculation that the Aghada man will call it a day.

The Cork squad will return to the city for celebrations this evening and deserve the acclaim of their people, said County Board chairman Jerry O’Sullivan.

The county’s minors just came up short of a football double, as they were defeated by a single point by Tyrone in the minor decider.

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