CORK keeper Anthony Nash has pretty much seen it all on a hurling pitch by now so who better to give his appraisal of the Rebels’ demolition of Westmeath in Mullingar last weekend.
Nash wasn’t in the best position to see 90% of Sunday’s action as it more often than not took place at the other end of the pitch.
However, it was still clear to the Kanturk man that his teammates were well on top of their brief and what the result means for him and his side. A trip to Croke Park next Sunday to take on Kilkenny. It’ll be a bumper weekend at headquarters given the footballers are out the night before against the Dubs.
“It was a professional performance is what you could say really. The thing about coming up here is if you let Westmeath get a good start you are in trouble.
“They are a good hurling side. We looked a lot into them before this game and they have some fantastic hurlers like Killian Doyle and we knew that coming up so really, we had done our homework and needed to concentrate on ourselves.”
Competition for places is key to where Cork are right now and Nash sees that in every game as well as every day in training.
“You have fellas fighting for places in the squad — you have the boys on the team don’t want to get off it and those coming in want to put in a performance and thanks to that attitude thankfully it went our way again today.”
Kilkenny will be a different animal of course.
“It was a tough physical game today, some of the hits out there were massive. It was great for us as we have a lot of learnings to take from this today and plenty to work on and we know Kilkenny will obviously bring a different set of questions.
“And with such a short turnaround we just have to get down the road and get into recovery.”
Nash may have had one of the best seats in the house but even he took a little time to work out the Westmeath tactic of two sweepers.
“I actually didn’t notice it for a while, maybe that was bad on my behalf but that was it. I knew they had one as we had a free man but then I saw the two. Look, it is tough for a team them just after playing their All-Ireland final (the McDonagh Cup Final) a weekend before to get ready for a team in the Liam MacCarthy who didn’t make the Munster final but we had the good fortune to get this far.
“It was up to all of us to make the most of that good fortune and turn that into a positive performance — all we really could do was to come up here and do our best and try to deal with whatever they throw at us — teams throw different things at you every day and hurling is different every day.”