Cill Na Martra manager O’Sullivan learned a lot from loss to St Finbarr’s

Cill Na Martra manager O’Sullivan learned a lot from loss to St Finbarr’s
St Finbarr's Adam Lyne goes highest to send the ball to the Cill na Martra net. Picture: David Keane.

IT'S not only players who learn from playing against top grade opponents.

Cill na Martra manager, Kevin O'Sullivan, admitted his approach to the Rochestown Park Hotel Division 1 league final against St Finbarr's wasn't the right way to deal with the county champions.

But, you could understand the Gaeltacht club pushing Tadhg Corkery from centre-forward to centre-back to keep tabs on Steven Sherlock and leaving the evergreen Noel O'Leary to sweep.

That's because during the regular season meeting between the clubs the 'Barr's cut loose to win by 3-15 to 1-8.

“We played a sweeper at the start because we didn't want to be exposed early on, but I think that was a mistake.

“In the second-half we went man-for-man and pushed on, managing to get the lead down to a few points, but any mistake we made we were punished severely.

“We had a kick-out which went wrong and we were punished with a goal.

“It was the same for another goal after we got dispossessed and the 'Barr's went down field and scored.

“If you make mistakes at this level you will be get punished.

“What we learned you wouldn't get from 100 training sessions and that's great for us,” O'Sullivan told the Echo.

Despite losing by 3-17 to 2-10, Cill na Martra still caused problems for their city opponents.

Daniel Ó Duinnín scored both goals while Damien Ó hUrdail had a shot blocked by a diving defender and Micheál Ó Deasúna was denied by a fine save by keeper Patrick O'Neill.

“We had a great league campaign and we qualified on merit, no doubt about that.

“We came up to win, knowing the 'Barr's are the stand-out team in Cork at the moment.

“To be honest, I think they are a small bit ahead of the rest. They move the ball so quickly. They have very good forwards and they're very aggressive in the tackle.

“In addition the 'Barr's press teams high up the field and they really are a good team.

“We couldn't have done much more than we did and while we're disappointed at losing we're happy with the league overall,” O'Sullivan commented.

He admitted there's extra pressure on the team in terms of the premier intermediate championship because of their league exploits.

Cill na Martra are 7/2 second favourites behind 11/4 St Michael's, when the competition resumes in the coming weeks.

“We're due to play the winners of St Vincent's-Macroom on August 17.

“That's our focus now. It's back to basics again, hard training and getting ready again.

“It was our first time this year that we had a full panel available to us.

“We had a lot of injuries at the start of the year, but we were able to bring fellows on who'd normally be starting.

“And while we're division 1 in the league it doesn't work out automatically in the championship, so we'll just wait and see,” O'Sullivan concluded.

Meanwhile, the remaining games in the Super 8s are set for tv coverage this weekend.

The Group 1 showdown between Mayo and Donegal in Castlebar on Saturday at 6pm, when a place in the All-Ireland semi-final is on the line, is being shown by Sky Sports Arena.

In the same group, Kerry travel to play Meath in Navan at the same time and this is also broadcast live on Sky Sports Action.

On Sunday, RTÉ 2 is to have live coverage of the Tyrone-Dublin Group 2 decider in Omagh at 4pm while the Cork-Roscommon 'dead-rubber' at Páirc Uí Rinn at the same time is live on the RTÉ Player.

While All-Ireland champions, Dublin, and last season's runners-up, Tyrone, have already qualified for the last-four, the other group is two from Kerry, Donegal and Mayo.

The semi-final pairings will be determined by the final group positions with the winners meeting the runners-up the following weekend.

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