Pat Ryan hails Cork’s forward threat

Cork selector Pat Ryan agreed that yesterday’s NHL relegation play-off was looser than observers might have anticipated, but insisted that was a result of the tactics on view.

“In the second half, Galway drew a man out, and that gave us a spare man at the back, and that’s where it becomes loose after that.

“In the second half we didn’t work the middle third as hard as we should have, and they got some scores.

“We hit away some dead ball as well. But we have a fierce threat inside with Patrick (Horgan), Seamus (Harnedy) and Conor (Lehane). We’re delighted with the way things went, with how they played.”

Cork got goals when they were direct, a point acknowledged by the Sarsfields clubman.

“We created some good scores in the first half, going direct a couple of times, but we still have plenty to work on — some of the ball we put into the full-forward line in the first half wasn’t good enough, and we probably weren’t working as hard as we should have.

“Those are all areas to work on, but it’s good to have a win under our belts before going into the championship.”

Cork were awarded just two frees in the first half by referee James McGrath but Ryan preferred to focus on his side’s indiscipline.

He said: “I thought John Cronin’s (case) was a blatant free, but I thought there were a lot of easy frees, they got some easy ones, but we’ve to look at ourselves — were we giving the referee the option of giving easy frees against us?

@We won’t have any complaints, winning you don’t anyway.”

Ryan says the Cork management expect to have a full complement for the championship clash with Tipperary in May.

“The only long-term issue is Colm Spillane, who’s gone for the year, and Mark Ellis has two or three weeks to go with his arm, but everybody else will be right for the championship.

“We have fitness tests midweek and they’ll go back to the clubs then for a week or two, there’ll probably be two weeks of physical training coming up then in a week’s time, then four weeks leading into the championship.”


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