Cork fighting fit despite hard road, says Quirke

CORK goalkeeper Alan Quirke insists the exertions of the Qualifiers wouldn’t impact on their bid for All-Ireland glory.

Cork face into their fourth successive weekend of action in Sunday’s championship quarter-final against Roscommon thanks to a hard-fought extra-time win against Limerick last Saturday. Yet despite the quick turn around, Quirke is adamant that they can cope with the heavy workload.

He said: “There’s no doubt about it, it’s going to be physically difficult because of all the football we’ve played over the last few weeks. But teams have managed to do it coming from the Qualifiers in the past, so there’s no reason why we can’t do that. There were no real celebrations after the Limerick game it was just an ice bath and a bit of grub and we had a good recovery session on Sunday. We have a good panel there and that’s what we’ll need next weekend.”

Cork seemed to be cruising to victory before Limerick’s late scoring burst forced extra time. However Quirke dismissed suggestions that the visitors had taken their foot of the gas entering the home straight.

He reasoned: “We never thought it was over because the shoe was on the other foot for us the last few times we’ve met. We caught them with late goals in the last couple of years.

“We played very well in the second-half of normal time I felt. We were coasting with a couple of minutes to go before making one or two mistakes. We just caught with the sucker punch of a penalty and then I messed up a kick-out for the equalising point. Then in extra-time, we showed a bit of composure to finish out the job.”

But Quirke believes that winning such a hard-fought game will be beneficial to Cork’s aspirations of September glory.

“I think a lot of people, while they were saying Limerick would give us a tough battle, might not have really believed it deep down. But as a group of players, we know that every time we play them, it’s a toss of a coin as to who wins.

“To beat Limerick in their own ground is an achievement that we’re proud of. We’ve learnt a lot from these qualifier games; winning is a great habit to have and hopefully we can keep holding onto it next weekend.”


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