O’Neill: This will benefit us

Colm O’Neill says the defeated Munster football team will take plenty back to their counties from Sunday’s Interprovincial semi-final defeat to Ulster.

After two opening round losses, Cork travel to Down on Sunday week then Tyrone seven days later but the Ballyclough man and his seven Cork team-mates on the provincial panel have been boosted by the hard-fought tie.

He reasoned: “It’s way better than training. That match there would be as good as three or four training sessions.

“It’s as good as Championship pace so it’s great in terms of getting yourself right.

“We felt we could have got the draw and gone into extra-time. But a game like this one is 10 times better than training with your county.

“We’ve two trips up north now with Cork now and we’re under no illusions how difficult they’re going to be. We’ll be getting back to the grindstone now to prepare for them.”

O’Neill hopes more can be done to raise the awareness of the competition after Munster and Ulster produced a second exciting game in 12 months.

“Nobody was dragged here, everybody wanted to play for Munster and it is a great competition. I think it should be promoted more.

“You’re playing against lads you’d be hopping off in Championship matches but when you’re playing for the same team there is great camaraderie.

“I don’t have a Railway Cup medal and it’s something I would like to get before I finish my career. Everyone else in the dressing-room is the same and hopefully that will happen before I call it quits.”

O’Neill rued Munster’s inability to translate their dominance in possession into more scores in the second half, especially when Ulster lost David Givney to a second yellow card.

“Everyone in the dressing room was fierce disappointed. It was the game of two halves. They dominated the first half and we dominated the second half. They were probably a little more clinical than us in both halves but that’s sport.”


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