ANY senior football manager heading to Croke Park in August to play in an All-Ireland semi-final would be a happy man.
And that’s exactly what Cork ladies football manager, Ephie Fitzgerald, was after their emphatic win over Tyrone.
“After last week’s performance (a one-point loss to Armagh in the round-robin stage) it certainly had us focused for this one.
“In terms of our preparation that was probably a blessing in disguise.
“We were overwhelming favourites for both games, but this week we were far more focused and when it comes to knock-out football the girls are very, very good.”
Cork made no mistake from the off.
“You could feel the tension during the week after the loss to Armagh and training was top class, so all in all very pleased. To put up what we scored, 7-18, is great going.
“The second-half became a bit pedestrian because of the scoreline but that’s good from our point-of-view. We created some great chances and we are absolutely thrilled to be in the semi-final against Dublin or Kerry in a few weeks time.”
The Dubs are hot favourites of course.
“Our girls like playing in Croke Park and it’s great the semi-finals are on there this year. It’s a big pitch and that suits us. But the girls are a year older now and the younger ones have a bit more experience and we are looking forward to the challenge.
“We will prepare as best we can now over the next few weeks and hopefully give it a rattle on the day.
“If Dublin get through, and like us they will be favourites to do so against Kerry, they would be firm favourites for the semi-final.
“They are well used to playing at Croke Park and have a massive amount of experience in the squad.
“But our girls are ready for the challenge and will rise to it on the day, be it Dublin or Kerry.”
The Nemo club man believes Tyrone are a decent outfit but Cork were just in the zone.
“Tyrone are a good side and they had a good win over Donegal earlier in the campaign, but we dominated them and will need to up our performance again the next day to have any chance of making the final.
“We have had a great year so far and we are where the girls want to be now, in an All-Ireland semi-final and we are thrilled to be there.
“Like all performances we will have a look at it during the week and there is still plenty we can work on, but for now we can look forward to the semi-final in a few weeeks time,” concluded Ephie.