Monday 22 January 2018

Dublin are not invincible insists Rebel O'Halloran

Cork's Ken O'Halloran
Cork's Ken O'Halloran
Donnchadh Boyle

Donnchadh Boyle

CORK goalkeeper Ken O'Halloran insists the gap between Dublin and the chasing pack can be bridged ahead of the Rebels' championship opener against Tipperary on Saturday night.

Brian Cuthbert's side beat the Dubs in the league and were in charge in the league semi-final clash before succumbing to a second-half blitzkrieg. Having had a front-row seat to see the Dubs in action, the Bishopstown 'keeper believes there are up to half a dozen teams that could beat Dublin.

"I don't think the gap is as big as people make it out to be," he said. "On any given day, there's probably five or six teams that can beat Dublin. With the hype, people can get a bit carried away and think that they're miles better. They're not, but they are a bit at the moment."

That league semi-final saw a 17-point swing in favour of Dublin in the second half, but rather than discourage Cork, O'Halloran believes they will learn from the experience.

"We got pegged in there for 15 or 20 minutes," he recalled. "The Dubs can do that to you, they just get a run and commit so many bodies around the middle. It's something we've learned from. If we went on to win that game comfortably we probably would have learned nothing.

"You can read too much into the league. We'd a great league in the group stage, we played well against Dublin in the first half. We obviously just froze a bit in the second half.

"I think that's something that will stand to us because we learned a lot about defending and other things. The stuff we've worked on since that game will hopefully stand to us."

Cork are expected to see off Tipperary this weekend, but O'Halloran sounded a note of caution, branding the Premier as the province's coming team.

"I think they've players who would start on any team in the country," he insisted. "If we don't play 100pc we won't win."

Irish Independent

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