Sunday 22 April 2018

Walsh weighs up his options after 'hugely frustrating' day for Cork

Cliona Foley

Cliona Foley

PEOPLE who get personalised number plates are usually cruising for an ego bruising, but after this display there were few willing to slag off the one on Kilkenny's team bus that read: '10 KK 1'.

Something that could be perceived as so presumptuous, even from a hire company, is just the sort of thing to get up Brian Cody's nose but so jovial was his mood afterwards that he playfully requested "someone ask Cha a question!" as his midfielder bashfully reddened beside him.

"Never mind Cha, what about the five-in-a-row?" we wondered?

"I look forward to next Sunday's semi-final," Cody grinned back, like some inscrutable hurling sage.

"One of the nicest games you could ever go to is the second All-Ireland semi-final when you've won the first and can come and sit back and relax."

He stressed that Kilkenny hadn't deliberately come chasing goals and said that they will anxiously await injury updates now on Henry Shefflin (knee) and Brian Hogan (shoulder). "Two years ago, with 10 minutes to go, Eoin Larkin broke through for the goal and those goals do matter. The same today, we were threatening and then the goal came. It does lift the team and put doubts in the other team as well."

Cork boss Denis Walsh looked particularly crestfallen but wasn't afraid to call it like it was. What was the game plan, had they targeted any potential Kilkenny weakness?

They don't really have any, he replied. "We felt we just had to go toe-to-toe with them, we needed 15 guys playing and willing to cover serious ground and that's the hugely frustrating thing, that we didn't do that at all," he said. "Kilkenny do that second nature."

The game was "over at half-time" he concluded and took little consolation from a better second half, pointing out that "we were playing for more than pride because we knew going back out that Kilkenny wouldn't let up.

"If we'd come out and waved the white flag there'd be another 10 or 12 points on that scoreline," he said.

So what of the future; his and this Cork team's? "I wouldn't pre-empt anything. As far as I'm concerned, there's an awful lot more left in these players and I've a huge responsibility to weigh that up now."

Irish Independent

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