A result, not a performance, was the consensus of the Cork camp after they progressed to the second round of the qualifiers at the expense of Dublin.
Full-back Damien Cahalane was simply happy the team put some distance between themselves and the forgettable showing in going down to Tipperary in May.
He admitted: “It’s been tough after the Tipp game. We had to up it. It wasn’t 100% what we were looking for but we got out of it. When things got tough, fellas dug their heels in for the result and that’s what it was. It wasn’t a performance but it was a result.”
Cahalane said the players felt no extra pressure to win after seeing the U21s and then the minors bow out of their respective championships earlier in the week. “You don’t really pay attention to those things when you’re preparing for a big game. All you can focus on is yourself and you can only look after your own performance. It wasn’t 100% but there was definitely a good show of character.”
Selector Pat Ryan remarked there was enough of a spotlight on the group without the under-age setbacks. There’s an onus on you when you’re a Cork senior hurling team that you have to be winning. We had a very disappointing league and obviously the performance against Tipperary wasn’t acceptable for Cork hurling standards.
“The pressure was on to perform for ourselves tonight and the lads trained very hard and we put a lot of effort in. You have to be winning matches if you’re putting in that effort and we’re delighted to get the win.”
The performances of Alan Cadogan and Seamus Harnedy, who was benched for the promising Shane Kingston, son of manager Kieran, couldn’t have been more contrasting but Ryan explained the Cork captain had been struggling with fitness coming into the game.
“Alan is a fantastic hurler. He had a lot of injuries last year and probably wasn’t as sharp as he would like but he’s had a clear run this year and he’s back to his 2014 form. He’s a fantastic trainer and he’s hugely professional in every aspect of his hurling from his preparation to his diet and everything.
“Seamus ran himself into the ground and he’s been missing the odd bit of training over the last couple of weeks with slight hamstring injuries. I thought he put in a huge shift.”
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