“The James O’Donoghue of three and four years ago would just turn around and kick that ball over the bar with his left foot. He’s not playing with the confidence you’d expect. If he was, he’d have chipped that ball over the bar,” said Oisín McConville, 22 minutes into Kerry’s Super 8 rout of Mayo.
Leaning against the wall outside a bouncing Cork dressing-room, happiness and contentment radiating from the broad smile he’s wearing, Cork U20 captain Peter O’Driscoll conveys his hope that this sensational come-from-behind final victory “will be the start of something”.
Embarrassing. A crisis. Unacceptable. And those were the more moderate terms used in the media to describe the state of Cork football just last March following the county’s relegation to Division 3 of the Allianz league.
A satisfying end to one of the most bizarre weeks ever for Tyrone GAA ended up with a controlled second-half performance, featuring five unanswered scores in a 13-minute period, which proved enough to get them the opening two points of the Super 8s series against Roscommon.