The RTÉ Sunday Game panel were gushing in their praise of Cork’s support play in this afternoon’s Munster SHC final defeat of Clare at Semple Stadium, writes Ger McCarthy.
“I was at a few of Cork’s league games in Pairc Ui Rinn and if you had told them they were going to beat Tipp, Waterford and Clare to win a Munster championship?” former Clare All-Ireland winning captain Anthony Daly quipped.
“You knew all week though and they outnumbered Clare supporters three or four to one having snapped up all the tickets from every angle. I was down there (Cork) on Friday and the buzz was incredible. It is a fantastic victory for Kieran (Kingston) and his men.
“They deserved it, maybe only slightly the better team but maybe I’m wearing my Clare hat on that one! They were always in front and every time Clare seemed to get a run on them they were able to come back with a score and kill that momentum”.
“I think the most impressive thing for me was the pace of Cork breaking forward,” stated three-time Galway All Star Ann Marie Hayes.
“They weren’t afraid to break the tackles and had the pace of their support players beside them. They used that pace all day long and their fitness levels as well, the intensity they brought to the game for the final 20 minutes was immense. That was really impressive for me.”
“I think, all year, that their support play has been phenomenal,” agreed Offaly All-Ireland winner Michael Duignan.
“It is something they have worked on obviously; they have brought in new players this year and are full of energy. Anybody that comes at them, they are able to pull away. Something that has really struck me about Cork this year is their support play. To do that three games in a row at that level is something else. They did fantastically well again today.
“It is not that long ago that people were talking about Cork hurling being dead and buried. They went back to their underage and people like Diarmuid O’Sullivan got stuck in at U15, 16 and 17 which has produced five new senior players this year. Those five, individually, have been brilliant at different stages of the championship including today.
“It is not often five nineteen or twenty year olds become the important players on a team but they are the ones that inspired Cork to a Munster championship this year.”
The Sunday Game panel agreed Patrick Horgan was fortunate to stay on the field following a dangerously high challenge that resulted in a yellow rather than red card before voting Alan Cadogan as their Man of the Match after contributing 1-4 of Cork’s winning total.
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