Ricken: Whether we score 10 goals or concede 10 goals, it's about the next ball

Ricken: Whether we score 10 goals or concede 10 goals, it's about the next ball
Keith Ricken hugs an emotional Colm O'Callaghan after defeating Dublin. Picture: Eddie O'Hare

CORK manager Keith Ricken admitted his heart was in his mouth after Dublin danger-man Ciaran Archer pounced for his goal in Saturday's All-Ireland U20 final.

It left Cork trailing by 1-6 and struggling to get the ball into their own danger zone. At that juncture few were predicting a Rebel victory, let along an eight-point triumph in front of a rabid red crowd.

“There was a lot of problem solving to be done, both by the players and management. We had our problems, too.

“Sometimes you over-rule selectors and I decided to do what we did at the start and it certainly wasn’t good.

“We left ourselves wide open and got caught with it, but everyone makes mistakes and we had to solve our problems.

“We shifted it around a small bit and the lads knew this what was going to happen if things weren’t working out initially.

“It’s a thing we all do in life. What are we supposed to do? Crawl into a corner? There was no corner here.

“There was another 45-50 minutes left and we were not looking good.

“It was either man up or die and the lads did it very well, it must be said.

“They stuck at it, made their decisions and the one thing we’ve had all year is that if we concede or score we need the same reaction because it’s all about the next ball.

“Whether we score 10 goals or concede 10 goals. They are all gone and it’s about the next ball.

“I must admit my heart was in my mouth at 1-6 down, but we won the next ball, settled down and went up the field to get a score.

“That’s all they needed that bit of confidence and to finish the half the way they did was fantastic,” he said.

Archer finished the game with 1-5 for a championship total of 9-35, but came away empty-handed.

“I mean this sincerely. We had 15 Dublin fellows to worry about and Archer was just one of them.

“He was an end product, but he got no more special treatment because we don’t allow anyone into our dressingroom.

“We only worry about Cork. They are the only team who come into our dressing room.

“And no matter what you do, no one player is going to win a game for anybody."

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