Deane delivered on his goal but the big exam is at the end of June

Deane delivered on his goal but the big exam is at the end of June
Picture: Larry Cummins.

ALTHOUGH he wouldn't be recognised as a regular finisher, Ruairí Deane, the 27-year-old school teacher showed how it's done when scoring Cork's third goal in the 21-point rout of Limerick.

The Bantry Blues player had already played a central role in the creation of both Brian Hurley goals and Deane backed himself with a surging run through the middle before planting the ball in the bottom corner of the net.

The unmarked Killian O'Hanlon was waiting to Deane's left for the pass which never came while Paul Kerrigan was on his opposite side though shielded by defenders.

“I couldn't have given it to Killian for starters,” Deane joked. “I wouldn't be known for my finishing so it's nice to get a goal for Cork at any stage.

“Personally, I don't care who kicks them as long as we kick them as a team, I'm happy.

“Whatever we can contribute to the team for as long as we can we'll do that and I'm just happy to have got 50-55 minutes' action.

“As for the other goals, fellows worked it out of defence and got the ball to me. I was able to pop in to Brian, who scored two cracking goals.” 

Deane admitted it might have been a different start had Limerick not been denied by the frame of the goal right from the throw-in.

“Limerick were very unlucky not to get a goal. It was heart in the mouth stuff because it was like a game of ping-pong, the ball hitting Mark White's back and the post again before coming back out.

“We definitely got a rub of the green because it would have been a different first 15 minutes had that gone in.

“But, then, we went under the end and showed how clinical we can be by scoring 3-7 without reply.

“Limerick put in a fantastic performance against Tipperary and we all know that.

“Looking at them, they're a strong side who've been building the last few years and they showed that against Tipp, who are no easy opposition.

“Overall, it was as pleasing enough as it looked on the scoreboard on a dirty night towards the end of the game.

“It was a good performance for long spells though we can still improve in certain aspects.” 

Deane had the man-of-the-match gong well wrapped up before his withdrawal to resounding applause with many considering it to be his best display in the red jersey.

“The next performance always has to be your best performance. I played ok for the 50-55 minutes. I'm happy to put on a Cork jersey at any time because it's a privileged position to be in.

“It can be taken off you by someone else at any given stage so it's important when you have it that you hold on to it. Hopefully, I'll get it again for the Munster final.” 

Between league, challenges and this championship opener, Cork have now won seven of their last eight games which has helped settle things again since relegation to division 3.

“Confidence in the camp is good. There's savage intensity going into the training sessions because there's good competition for places.

“You saw the subs who came on, like Steven Sherlock, Kevin O'Driscoll and Luke Connolly and there's no one resting on their laurels.

“Everyone is up for a jersey and no one has it held for very long unless they're putting in the effort.

“Those challenge games were important because I think at this time of the year you need to be playing games.

“And yet for us it's all about sticking to the process and we need to improve all the time.

“We worked hard in the tackle though we gave away a lot of ball in the last 15 minutes of the first half.

“We started doing stuff we wouldn't normally do and we have to take that out of our game.” 

Cork were more direct in feeding Hurley and Mark Collins inside with the Castlehaven pair combining for 2-9 of the 3-18 tally.

“You have to build towards championship. The league was obviously disappointing but this is all what we want to be doing on these lovely summer evenings like this one," he joked as the rain belted the windows.

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