Friday 21 September 2018

'It's not in our hands now,' admits minor boss Considine

Denis Hurley

Cork minor hurling coach John Considine accepted that the team's chances of qualifying for the Munster final all, but disappeared with the loss at home to Limerick on Saturday evening.

Having beaten Clare in their first outing, Cork have now lost to Tipperary and Limerick, meaning four points is the maximum they can finish on.

"Barring a set of lottery results, we're probably out," Considine said.

"We got back to two points in the second half, I think, and the goal went in, we just couldn't close the gap.

"We can't really have too many complaints, we second-best, they just had that edge on us. We nearly got there at times but we didn't, we just couldn't get out in front and put a bit of pressure on them.

"We were chasing for all of the game, really. You could qualify on four points but it would require a strange set of results. We'll know what we have to do, or if it's even possible at that stage.

"Tonight was crucial, we had to win to more or less keep it in our own hands. It's not in our own hands now."

Across the Clare and Tipp games, Cork had conceded seven goals. To shore things up, they played with an extra defender here, but that denied them manpower in attack, with a knock-on effect on the scoring front.

"We had to do something," Considine said.

"We did well, and I think were 0-8 to 0-6, and next thing they got a few scores. There's no point in arguing over bits and pieces and other things, they were just that bit better than us, really."

Considine didn't wish to blame Cork's defeat on the changed format, with far more games than in the past.

"You could see that some of our decision-making was a bit tired," he said, "but that would be a lame excuse as I felt we prepared hard and the lads were ready for the exertions of this championship.

"I have the to praise the commitment of our players, who gave their all, and hopefully we will finish the championship on a high with a win against Waterford.

"It is a new format and it does give fellas games. Maybe they've been bad experiences but it is experience of the Munster championship and a big crowd, we were just that bit short."

Shortcomings in physicality were noticeable, however.

"I would say, definitely in the latter two," Considine said. "They seemed to be taller, bigger, more athletic at times. Sometimes it looks that way, and with a result we look at things more, but I would agree that it was the case in the latter two."

Limerick manager Antóin Power was very pleased with his charges, who made it two wins from two to give themselves a great chance of advancing.

"It was a very good performance, a great team performance," he said.

"We hurled from the start right to the finish, the subs that came on added to the team as well. At the end of the day, it's only round two, we'll recover and prepare for Waterford next week."

This was the fifth game in the new-look minor championship, with Limerick the first away team to triumph.

"We've bucked the trend," Power said, "all of the home teams have been successful so far.

"It's a good day, a good performance. We were wary of the Páirc Uí Chaoimh effect too, it's a new stadium for all of the lads but they turned up from minute one. We were deserving winners, I think."