Second-half surge eases Cork into semis
Cork 3-17 Cavan 1-3
Champions Cork took a while to get going in seeing off Cavan in Saturday's quarter-final in St Brendan's Park, Birr, but manager Ephie Fitzgerald believes that their 20-point cruise to the last four will help his side.
Cork, playing into the wind, led 0-7 to 1-3 at half-time, but then produced a comprehensive second-half performance in which Cavan were held scoreless.
"They scored the goal from the throw-in, which probably set us back a bit, but it kind of sharpened the minds a little bit too," Fitzgerald said.
"It took us a while to peg that back, we were three points down for a lot of it.
"Cavan defended well, they were very committed and supporting each other. I felt they could probably have been a point or two more ahead but I wasn't ever that worried either.
"I know that the team were full of character but we were just that bit rusty. I think it was a six-week lay-off.
"No matter how many training sessions you have, you can't beat a championship match."
Cavan were impressive for much of the first half but Cork had edged ahead at half-time when Fitzgerald sought an upping of standards and sub Rhona Ní Bhuachalla made an instant impression with a goal.
"We needed to do a lot of things," he said, "we had to push up on their kickouts and contest the breaks a bit more, we needed to move the ball quicker and I think we did all of those."