Sunday 20 May 2018

Kingston: league form wasn't a true reflection of Cork's worth

Kieran Kingsto. Brendan Moran / SPORTSFILE
Kieran Kingsto. Brendan Moran / SPORTSFILE

Noel Horgan

CORK selector Kieran Kingston agreed that almost everything that could go right did go right for the team, including the decision to start renowned man-marker Brian Murphy on Clare's lively and creative centre forward Tony Kelly.


"I suppose we got most of our match-ups right, and Brian certainly did a great job for us today, but a lot is written about tactics, and you're a genius when they go with you, and people will say you don't know what you are at when they don't. After winning the toss, we decided we'd play with the strong wind in the first half, and we felt we were in a good position at half-time.

"We were just three points down, but we were a little apprehensive at the same time in that we feared Clare's running game might be better suited to playing against the wind. We knew we had to try and counter that, to put a marker down from the word go in the second half, and we did that with our work-rate, not to mention the string of early points which were a big plus. So, to play against the wind in the first half turned out to be the right call," said Kingston.

Revealing that everything was geared towards last Sunday's clash with Clare from the start of the season, Kingston said that the management's main aim in the league was to blood as many new players as possible.

"We wanted to give everyone a fair chance, and we thought we'd be able to do that and survive in Division 1A as well. That didn't happen, but our fitness wasn't at a high level when Clare ran us of the pitch here in the relegation play-off in extra-time. We put in a lot of hard work since then, because the plan was to be in tip-top shape for this match, and thankfully it worked out.

"We always felt our hurlers were good enough if their attitude was right, and it was excellent today, particularly in terms of work-rate, and everything just fell into place after that," said the Tracton clubman.

"It's all about the next day now, but we will be going in as underdogs against Limerick, who have beaten the defending Munster champions Tipp, and will also enjoy the advantage of playing at home. It will be the first Munster final in over a decade that won't include either Tipp or Waterford, it basically involves two new teams, and we both think we have a chance. The game will probably come a little too soon for Lorcan (McLoughlin), but Pa (Cronin) will obviously be back in the equation.

"It's fairly obvious now we have a decent panel, and the performance of newcomer Seamus Harnedy was particularly encouraging today. I thought"