Manley hails heroes as Rebels heart shines through

THE joy in the Cork camp after their Munster MHC final victory over Tipperary in Limerick knew no bounds as captain Daniel Roche brought the trophy to the dressing room to the thunderous applause of his colleagues and management.

It was a win over the old enemy borne out of raw courage and a never-say-die attitude and coach Ger Manley wasn’t slow in handing out the bouquets.

“You won’t get a better minor game than that,” said Manley. “There was only a puck of a ball between us at the finish and Tipp are still in this championship, make no mistake about that.

“One of the great characteristics of our team is wholeheartedness. They never give up. Tipp got the run on us early on but we stuck to our guns and pegged them back.

“To go in a point up at half time was brilliant after the shaky start we had. We conceded too many easy frees and got punished, and I said to them at half time to be patient and keep plugging away.

“To be fair we created at least three goal chances that on another day we’d have taken. The result will stand to us. They are a very good team and there is still more in them.

“However, Tipp haven’t gone away and will have a big say in the All-Ireland series. We could end up meeting them in the final and that would he some match.

“Uppermost in our minds will be what happened in 2006. We beat Tipp in the Munster final but they came through to win the All-Ireland. We don’t want that to happen again.

“Our defence was magnificent with our half back line the rock on which we built our victory. There is an excellent spirit in the camp and they are now showing the benefit of being together since January.

“The defeat by Clare was a wake-up call. We recovered well to beat Waterford and today showed how much we have improved since that first outing. With a couple of injured players to come back in we’ll give the All-Ireland a right go”.

Tipp manager Declan Ryan accepted his side were beaten by a better team on the day.

“We are disappointed, but you have to hand it to Cork. They were well prepared and dominated in a lot of areas, something we will have to look at for the All-Ireland series.

“A lot of our players didn’t come up to the mark, and that is also something we’ll examine. Hopefully, we can remedy the mistakes, but it’s not going to be easy.”

Ryan made nothing of a Cork point that wasn’t. “You get those kind of decisions and I’m not offering it as an excuse.

“It will be difficult to come back from a defeat like that but these are young men and I have the utmost confidence in them to bounce back.”

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