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Saturday 19 April 2014

JBM always had faith in panel

23 June 2013; A banner showing some Cork supporters' support of manager Jimmy Barry Murphy. Munster GAA Hurling Senior Championship Semi-Final, Cork v Clare, Gaelic Grounds, Limerick. Picture credit: Brendan Moran / SPORTSFILE

Noel Horgan

IT'S not going to be difficult to keep a lid on the hype following last Sunday's resounding win over Clare, according to Cork boss Jimmy Barry-Murphy.

He admitted he was thrilled with the performance from his charges, but he felt it could have been a different game had Clare made the most of their chances on the day.

"In fairness, you'd have to say we were lucky in the first half when Clare had a few goal chances which they didn't take, and it could have made it very difficult for us had one or two of them gone in. Having said that, our backs worked very hard to minimise the threat, and I think that was where the platform for our victory was laid,'' said the Cork boss.

Having played into a strong wind, Cork were obviously in a strong position heading out for the second half just three points in arrears, and JBM acknowledged he was reasonably happy with the situation at the interval.

"We felt the wind was worth about seven points, so we knew we were in with a great chance at half-time. But we told the lads that the wind doesn't win matches for you, that they needed to keep their heads in the second half, pick off the scores to get level and try to kick on from there," said JBM, before going on to praise his sides performance.

"To be honest, it went better then expected early in the second half, we certainly used the wind to our advantage, and again I thought the work-rate, the covering, the heart and commitment from our backs was just unbelievable," praised JBM.

He stressed, however, that all the players put in a massive effort, adding that he was immensely proud of them and absolutely delighted with the win, which didn't come as a big surprise to him

"I was reasonably confident coming in, because we had put in a lot of hard work since the relegation play-off, and I felt our training had gone very well. There was a lot of doom and gloom in the county after we were relegated in the league, but we only lost the relegation match here against Clare after extra-time. So, I knew we weren't as bad as people in Cork were making out, and I think we proved we are someway to getting our game together now at least.

"I've always believed we have a good panel, and, while we had a couple of players missing today, the likes of Seamus Harnedy and Danny Kearney, two of the younger lads starting their careers with Cork, really stepped up to the plate. Seamus had been playing well with UCC, and he was with us as well last year, so he was no big shock that he did so well in his first championship start with Cork.

"It's just a case of hoping you are making the right calls, and it was difficult to leave some players off the panel, but it worked out well, and the fact that Pa Cronin got a bit of game-time made it an even bigger success from our point of view."

Hit by a viral infection in the lead-up to the game, team skipper Cronin notched a point after coming on for the last ten minutes in place of Cian McCarthy, whose contribution prior to his departure was lauded by JBM.

"Cian had a fantastic game, but he had played himself to a standstill and was tiring, so we wanted to get fresh legs in near the end. We are in a Munster final now, it's great to be there and we intend to give it a right go, but it certainly isn't going to be easy against Limerick, and there is no danger we will get carried away by today."

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