Friday 23 March 2018

Nolan pleased to get UCC test

Noel Horgan

SELECTOR Jim Nolan described last weekend's game as a good work-out for Cork, adding that the performance was reasonably satisfying considering it was the first outing of the season.

"We are back in training since January, so we haven't got a whole lot done, and you could see that some people struggled a little bit out there today. But you can't beat a competitive game to get players sharpened up, and, bearing in mind that Clare were out against UL last weekend, we would be happy enough with the way it worked out.

"I thought Clare were well up for it, and, in fairness, they stayed with us until Colm O'neill fired in a cracker of a goal to put them away in the closing stages. We had a lot of young lads on duty, and all the newcomers did well enough, especially Liam Shorten and Seanie Cahalane in attack, and Aidan O'reilly and Kevin Harrington in defence.

"Our backs were always in control, with the result that Clare never threatened to grab a goal which might have enabled them to make it a lot more difficult for us, and, of course, Colm O'neill's display up front was crucial to the outcome.

"He tried very hard in the first half, but he kicked a few wides early on, and it wasn't until he scored our first goal that he began to produce his best form. His second goal really underlined what he can do, and he also bagged a few points, so it was a good comeback by Colm, reflecting the immense dedication he has shown since being sidelined with an injury for the past ten months."

Nolan felt that Graham Canty's experience was very important in enabling Cork to dictate matters at the back, suggesting that it probably helped the younger lads around him.

"This win gives us another opportunity to have a look at the comparative newcomers in next Sunday's semi-final clash with CIT, but we will possibly use a few players who weren't involved today as the intention is to assess most of our options before finalising the panel for the National League."