John Meyler questions need for extra-time in semis

Two items stood out from John Meyler’s debrief.

John Meyler questions need for extra-time in semis

Two items stood out from John Meyler’s debrief.

Neither should be interpreted as an excuse, but both were certainly worth referencing. The first was the passage of play which led to Cian Lynch’s goal in first-half stoppages.

Lynch pushed Daniel Kearney as the latter went down over the sliotar but no free was given.

The ball squirted loose, Seamus Flanagan snapped it up, picked out Lynch and the 22-year-old beat Nash with a rasping shot.

“Kearney was going down the Canal End. I don’t know was he pushed? They turned that ball over and got a goal. We possibly could have got a foul there,” said Meyler.

The second thorn in his craw was the decision made earlier in the year that extratime would be played if an All-Ireland semi-final finished level.

It’s understandable to see where Meyler is coming from here. Daniel Kearney, Cork’s outstanding player on the day, was removed because of injury on the hour mark.

They reintroduced him for extratime in the hope of squeezing another few moments of brilliance out of the 28-year-old, but he was clearly no longer at full throttle and was withdrawn for a second time 15 minutes later.

Fitzgibbon, too, the contributor of four points, was lost through injury.

Had the action been suspended after 70 minutes until next weekend, Cork would have got oceans more from

Kearney and Fitzgibbon in a replay than what they got in extra-time.

“It is a small bit funny that when you draw a Leinster final, there is a replay,” the Cork manager said.

“I’m not making excuses. I’ve never made excuses. If you draw a Leinster final, you get a replay. You draw an All-Ireland semi-final at full-time, you don’t.

"They are the rules and we just have to play to them. We were extremely competitive for the 70 minutes, we just lost our way for those two minutes.”

Extra-time wouldn’t have been needed had Seamus Harnedy hit the Limerick net in second-half stoppage time when the sides were level.

No blame, of course, on the Cork captain for he was denied by a moment of perfect timing from Limerick keeper Nickie Quaid.

“That was critical,” said Meyler of Quaid’s intervention as Harnedy pulled the trigger.

“Robbie O’Flynn had that. He picked it up on the sideline and came in. I think he lost his hurley, gave it to Seamus.

“They are small errors, small measures that possibly would have won us that game. But we need to be here all the time to learn by our mistakes.

"You don’t get chances because Limerick are coming, they want to play in an All-Ireland final. They were extremely good today. I take my hat off to them.”

There was no escaping mention of the six-point lead which Cork commanded in the 62nd minute after Darragh Fitzgibbon threw over his fourth of the day. The Munster champions wouldn’t score from play in the subsequent 27 minutes.

“The fact that we were six points up in the 62nd minute and failed to close out the game was a critical point. You had Casey and Dowling come in and they made a massive contribution, in terms of driving Limerick forward.

"Going to extra-time, there was a point in it, but the penalty killed it. It put four between us. Again, they drove on. Pat Ryan got their third goal.

"They [Limerick subs] made a massive contribution there, in the end.

“When I spotted Dowling and Casey coming on, I thought we were in the ascendancy at the time. We were six up. We were going well. Then, they came in and they added to Limerick. We had an opportunity.

"Robbie went in. He lost his hurley. He gave it to Seamie, Seamie was blocked. They are the decisions that are critical, at this level.”

The aforementioned injuries to Fitzgibbon and Kearney didn’t exactly aid Cork’s cause.

“Daniel Kearney’s contribution was incredible. You are trying to keep those... we have a lot of young fellas in the subs. Robbie O’Flynn came on, Jack O’Connor came, Tim O’Mahony is 21 years of age.

"They have a long way to go. Please God, they’ll win a U21 All-Ireland, which would develop them. Limerick have more senior younger players if you know what I mean. They made that difference.”

PaperTalk GAA Podcast: Hurling delirium, hurling overload, hurling snobbery, and a hurling documentary.

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