WITH the schools’ finals earlier in the day at Páirc Uí Rinn having been all-Cork affairs, Rebels manager John Meyler was happy to round off a satisfactory evening by beating Clare in the league.
Earlier, a crowd of 7,089 had witnessed Midleton CBS and St Francis College, Rochestown win the Dr Harty and Tom Collum Cups respectively.
Later on, a smaller attendance of 4,737 witnessed Cork’s first victory in the hurling league and Meyler was pleased to have completed the ‘set’.
“It’s another massive game for Cork hurling together with the two colleges games in Páirc Uí Rinn today,” he said.
“That makes it three wins for Cork. The Fitzgibbon guys are to come back after next weekend, and it’s great to see them in the final with UCC, so many Cork players.”
While relegation wouldn’t have been an issue even if Cork had lost, Meyler wasn’t counting that as a safety-blanket.
“I don’t think that way,” he said. "We set out with a purpose at the start to try to win matches, be competitive and introduce new players. I think we’ve introduced one or two players, I think Tim O’Mahony has really settled in at centre-back.
"The older players are still contributing as well, Patrick Horgan and those, so it’s trying to get the balance between the young and the old fellas and trying to win matches and be competitive as well.
“In the second half we got it right. The subs coming in like Alan [Cadogan], Darren [Browne] and Luke [Meade] made a difference, I certainly thought we got value off the bench. I was delighted with that.” In addition, Patrick Horgan’s 16-point haul came in for praise from the manager.
“Patrick Horgan played really well,” Meyler said. “Tim O’Mahony did well, Damien [Cahalane] had a tough day there with John Conlon, but it’s what we expect.
“Limerick is going to be very hard again now next Sunday, a very tough game.
“Because of the weather we haven’t done much match hurling in our training sessions, but we got a good bit done in the two weeks since the Wexford game, and we’ve improved.
“We’ll improve again this week but it’ll have to, because Limerick are very good, it’s an important game.”
The return of Cadogan to action was a sight that pleased all Cork supporters. Meyler felt it was important not to rush him.
“We could have played Alan before now,” he said.
“But to see him, and Darren [Browne] and Luke [Meade], come off the bench, it shows the importance of subs and the panel.
“That’s a plus, to have Alan back, the same with Steven McDonnell.
"Those are all pluses, and we’ll need them for next weekend against Limerick.”