Cork manager John Meyler wasn’t surprised by the Tipp response yesterday — his side might have been nine points to the good at half-time but he knew Tipperary would respond in the second half.
“They’ve been in a few All-Irelands over the last few years, National League finals, their pride was dented by Limerick so they were really coming for a cut. If you’d said to me a couple of weeks ago that we’d have three points at four o’clock today I’d have been happy.
“I’m disappointed with the second-half performance overall but that’s something we need look at ahead of next Saturday.
“Six-day turnaround now to Limerick, it’s exciting. It was an incredible second half, hooking and blocking, all the elements of hurling.
“We spoke about it at half-time, that we needed to meet Tipp head-on at the start of the second half. They got a free straight away and that gave them the impetus to drive on.”
Meyler paid tribute to the impressive Shane Kingston, who hit 1-5 from play: “He’s matured, like Darragh Fitzgibbon, Mark Coleman and Luke Meade, they’re still only 21 or so and it’s unfair to ask a 21-year-old to carry the team. There’s great legs in him and he got a great goal and crucial points.
“The likes of Daniel Kearney and Seamus Harnedy emptied the tank as well. That’s the key, to spread the scoring load, midfield and the half-back line giving scores. That was positive today.”
The Cork boss was happy with his side’s bright start — and Anthony Nash’s goalkeeping.
“We wanted to set the pace early and go at them, and that’s what we did.
“They didn’t give us that much space in the second half, and with the slight breeze… Tipperary probably got a rollocking at half-time and we gave them some silly frees at the start of the second half. That brought them into the game.
“He (Nash) made some great saves, but that’s what he’s there for, to make saves. He played his part with saves and puck-outs, and overall I’m happy.
“It’s grand, the short puck-out, but you’ve to take it out and use it. Our decision-making improved again today and we’ve Limerick now Saturday night, it’s going to be an extremely tough challenge again. But you guys are getting exciting games.”
Limerick will come to Páirc Uí Chaoimh next Saturday night, having had this weekend off, but Meyler pointed out that games are what players want, not weeks and weeks of training.
“It’s three hard weeks in two weeks, but that’s what players want, they don’t want to be training. I’ve said that to them — we’ve a match Saturday night and we want the Cork crowd behind us again.”
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