Cork hurling boss Pat Ryan says ‘bringing unity to the group is our focus’
Rebel manager says Robbie O’Flynn and probably Seán O’Donoughue are ruled out for the Galway game
Cork dug deep and produced something special during the second half to delight their massive support with a well-timed run earning a win by the narrowest of margins.
Reflecting on a rewarding outcome, team manager Pat Ryan acknowledged work is in progress after his side erased a hefty interval deficit to answer in emphatic fashion.
“It was 0-10 to 0-8 and with six minutes to half time and we missed a score, we were probably waiting for the whistle to go for the break. But as Limerick do to many opponents, they worked the ball very well, finding the man and got six fantastic points to lead by eight.
“However, the two goals in the second half were vital scores, it gave us great momentum and roused the crowd, they were fully behind us and we worked our socks off,” said Ryan.
Not too surprising the injury to Robbie O’Flynn upset Cork’s impetus, a lengthy delay, the Erins Own player stretchered off and it saw the home side lose concentration when the teams deadlocked on the scoreboard.
“As a result, Limerick enjoyed a decent couple of minutes, but we got the next three points to win the game. We’re delighted with the attitude of the side,” said Ryan.
The wides count appeared to cost Cork early on, the home side crafted chances but careless use of possession confirmed a poor conversion rate and fall well adrift at the interval.
“We had a lot of shots and in the first half, 15 shots as against 14 for Limerick, that occurs at this stage of the season but we also performed a lot of good things. Of course, there is plenty to work on but the win gives us a bit of belief.”
It was Cork that dominated the second half with an intensity and quality that had been absent in the opening period and was rewarded with green flags.
“Goals are so important, well taken by Robbie [O’Flynn] and Deccie [Dalton], we had further opportunities, that’s a pleasing aspect together with the options that came off the bench further boosted our game,” said the Sarsfields man.
Fielding four newcomers to the starting side, Ryan expressed delight with the performance from his debutants.
“Eoin Downey and Conor O’Callaghan were outstanding in defence, two fellows making league debuts in the fullback line. Also Tommy O’Connell had a terrific second half, the Limerick half-forward line are difficult to get a handle on and offer great movement in their puck-outs, but I thought Tommy performed splendidly as did Brian Roche,” said Ryan.
For much of the second half, Limerick were on the back foot and struggled to get their hands on possession until play resumed following O’Flynn’s injury but Cork answered a productive flourish from the Treaty men.
“We played to the full-time whistle, that was also evident against Limerick and Tipperary in the Munster Senior League. However, we park this game now, we will get a few new learnings, we won’t see Limerick until the end of the Munster championship, it's all about changing tact and focusing on the next couple of games.”
Ryan confirmed that due to Fitzgibbon Cup involvement new faces can be expected in the side that ventures west of the Shannon to take on Galway this Sunday.
“Both UCC and University of Limerick are figuring in the Fitzgibbon, players need to rest and be prepared before we go to Galway, that allows us get a chance to field new players, all important to building a squad and bringing unity to the group.
“With Robbie O’Flynn and probably Seán O’Donoughue ruled out of the Galway game, that allows the opportunity for others to play,” concluded Ryan.