Saturday 17 March 2018

Shields singles out brilliant Brogan for top player award

Cliona Foley

Cliona Foley

BRILLIANT Dublin forward Bernard Brogan may still not have reached that elusive All-Ireland final, but he can take some consolation that even his opponents expect him to be a shoo-in for this season's end-of-year individual honours.

"If he went on to win 'Player of the Year' I certainly wouldn't begrudge him," said Cork full-back Michael Shields.

Shields was given the unenviable task of trying to shackle Dublin's stand-out scoring threat after team-mate Ray Carey had conceded an early 1-1 to him and the St Oliver Plunkett's man was the key figure in what appeared to be Dublin's charge towards a first All-Ireland final since they last captured Sam in 1995.

"It was just the way it panned out," Shields said. "When he got the goal and the point we tried something different, they put me in there in the second half and I did my best to try and quieten him.

"They play a very good system, with just two inside to give Brogan a lot of space to work with, but he's a great player and you've got to give him credit," he said.

"In the second half he kicked two points off his right and another off his left and that's the sign of a class player," he added.

Shields reckoned that Cork's own recent painful history in Croke Park was what got them over the line yesterday.

"If you go back to '07 we were a young team, Kerry hammered us and they deserved to hammer us, but every year since we've been progressing and that was experience there today, we didn't panic, we stuck to our task and we knew we'd get our chance.

"We've probably lost games in the past where we've fallen away in the last 10 minutes -- when the chance was there to take it, we didn't -- but when it came to the crunch today we drove on and finished the job.

"At start of the year our goal was to get back where we were last year, but now we want to drive on and finish the job," Shields added.

"We haven't played well all year and we didn't play to our potential today and I'd say Down and Kildare, having looked at that, will fancy their chances."

Irish Independent

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