Cork U20 manager Pat Ryan hailed the “great character” shown by his charges after Limerick wiped out a six-point Cork lead on 59 minutes in their Munster final on Wednesday night.
Cork’s response to Limerick’s unanswered 1-3 late on was both composed and impressive, Darragh Flynn and Padraig Power hitting injury-time points to put Cork back in the driving seat.
“Delighted to get over the line, the lads showed great character again. It is great to win a tight one,” said Ryan.
“Limerick came back at us very well. Their players didn't die at all today, they drove on. We had missed a couple of chances, should have been more up.
“We gave away a very sloppy goal and one or two injuries didn't help us. We gave away a lot of frees too, were probably a bit indisciplined, as well, in some of our tackling.
“But overall, it was a panel effort once again, fellas came on and made a big difference. We are very proud of our boys and the spirit they showed, couldn't be happier.
“We didn't turn them into good hurlers overnight, they came in with great attitudes. A lot of work has been done at the development squad level, we are probably just putting a bit more of a shine on them.”
Having been three down midway through the first-half, a Cork scoring burst approaching the break sent them back down the tunnel two in front. Contributors during this period included dual players Brian Hayes and Jack Cahalane, Ryan praising both.
“In fairness to Jack and Brian, who played football last Thursday and have another game on Saturday, they put in savage shifts for us. Jack grew into the game. The more hurling he gets, the better he gets. He was very disappointed himself with his effort the last day against Tipperary, so was Darragh Flynn. I thought they put in two savage efforts today.”
Looking ahead to the All-Ireland final, Ryan concluded: “We need to cut down on our frees and we didn't move the ball fast enough into our full-forward line in the second-half. But we are only nit-picking, it was fantastic to get the win there."