Monday 21 October 2019

Cork's Lehane 'rattled' after collision with O'Flynn

Conor Lehane (left) in action for Cork. Photo: Brendan Moran/Sportsfile
Conor Lehane (left) in action for Cork. Photo: Brendan Moran/Sportsfile
Colm Keys

Colm Keys

Conor Lehane admitted to being "rattled" in the immediate aftermath of the collision that left his team-mate Robbie O'Flynn hospitalised after Cork's first Munster hurling championship round robin match on Sunday.

Cork GAA have confirmed that O'Flynn will make a full recovery after a three-way collision with Lehane and Clare's David McInerney saw him come off worst.

But he will miss Sunday's trip to Thurles to play Tipperary, a game that Alan Cadogan has also been ruled out for.

Lehane scored Cork's first goal not long after the resumption, following a nine-minute delay to treat the half-forward, but was still shook up when he latched on to Patrick Horgan's touch to score the breakthrough goal.

"When Robbie got injured, everyone got a bit rattled, it was awful. You have to regroup and say, 'look, nothing's going to change now, we'll find out after the game,' Robbie would do the same himself, it's about a team effort," Lehane said.

"Thank God he's okay, but regrouping and going again, regardless of the situation, is what it's all about."

"I didn't see him coming at all," he said. "I just put the hurley out to get the ball, I didn't hear him or anything, neither of us called it."

Lehane described Horgan's chase and touch to a lost cause ball from substitute Shane Kingston that was heading wide as "unbelievable." The Glen Rovers man got a deft touch to wrong-foot everyone except Lehane.

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"It was one of those shots where you'd have forgiven him if he'd left it off," said Lehane.

"It was going wide, but in fairness to him, for an 'ould' lad who's turning 30, he's still able to jump fairly high!

"It was unbelievable from him, he had no right going for it but he still didn't give up and it just fell straight in front of me. It was more about hitting the hurley and going in than anything, it popped up perfectly."

As Munster champions Cork had not been predicted by many to retain their title but being unfancied is something they've grown accustomed, said Lehane.

"We're used to it, that makes no difference to us. If it was an issue, you'd just be getting caught up in what people say, you're going to get distracted then from what you should be doing."

Winning a first game doesn't give them any guarantees as their league campaign has already illustrated, Lehane pointed out.

"Winning the first game is huge, but then we won the first league game at home against Kilkenny and lost every game after that," he added.

"There's no rite of passage that says if you win your first game, you're sorted.

"There is a bit of pressure off but next week it's Tipperary, we've a few days to recover. It'll be an intense game and Tipp are after losing so they'll be gunning for road again."

Irish Independent

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