Arriving at a venue his players were unfamiliar with, to take on something of the unknown in Leitrim on heavy underfoot conditions, Ronan McCarthy knew this would enlighten him further on the attitude of his troops.
Life was breathed into the Munster championship on Saturday in Páirc Uí Chaoimh. Cork showed up and battled, stayed with Kerry for the game but ultimately came up short. Kerry played in fits and starts, put up a good score and got the job done. Both teams have plenty to reflect on this week as they ready themselves for the serious stuff.
Cork have not reached the last eight of the championship since 2014, falling at the fourth-round hurdle each summer since. But irrespective of who Cork are pitted against on this occasion, McCarthy is adamant that his team are well capable of progressing to the Super 8s.
The furnishings in Pairc Ui Rinn won’t rival Madrid’s Wanda Metropolitano for comfort anytime soon, but no-one was forced to the edge of their seats Saturday night in Cork as the hosts romped to a 21-point Munster SFC semi final victory over Limerick.
THE problem for the Cork footballers and those burdened with making the repayments on Páirc Uí Chaoimh was not the sight of thousands streaming out before the end of Saturday’s lopsided Munster final. It was the percentage of them who won’t be back.
Cork are 7/2 with the bookies but I wouldn’t back them. I was never involved with Kerry in a Munster final in Páirc Ui Chaoimh where Cork were that friendless in the market. The message is clear: Being competitive and getting within two or three points of Kerry represents progress.