Following an opening week defeat by Tipperary, Cork turned around their Munster SHC campaign with an impressive seven-point win over All-Ireland champions Limerick.
What changed in a week for John Meyler’s men?
As others around him struggled, there was an element of defiance in Eoin Cadogan’s duel with Seamus Callanan last week and his negation of Aaron Gillane today, restricting him to one point from play, set an example.
“What happened last week wasn’t good enough from a defender’s point of view,” he said. “We spoke at large about that. Based on the attack Limerick had, we had to shut them down. We owed it to our forwards as well to shut them down.
"The Munster Championship is a minefield. Any team can beat any other on a given day. Today we brought a work-rate and hunger, matched Limerick, and came out the right side.”
Not taking a morsel of credit away from Cork for this victory but it was clear for everyone to see just how much last week’s outing, however galling it was, brought them on in contrast to Limerick who were coming in cold.
Here, Cork’s touch was so much better than in Páirc Uí Chaoimh. As the rain came down in the second half, it was they who dealt with greasiness better, the All-Ireland champions looking more and more a team who had been kept in the stalls too long.
As Eoin Cadogan and Aidan Walsh walked off the pitch afterwards carrying slight knocks, the break is now timely, although three weeks seems a week too long given the momentum this will have generated.
Afterwards, John Meyler shrugged off the suggestion that he was going for broke today.
He stressed that everything was on the line for Cork in each Munster SHC game but there was an element of risk here in withdrawing Tim O’Mahony, who he had earmarked as his centre-back, and Shane Kingston, who was one of the better performers against Tipperary.
Mark Ellis, O’Mahony’s replacement, more than coped against Kyle Hayes and Aidan Walsh played an excellent support game in the second half.
Robert Downey, meanwhile, was solid in deputising for Christopher Joyce. The calming presence of a fit-again Bill Cooper couldn’t be ignored either and Meyler was fulsome in his praise for the midfielder.
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