THERE was no getting away from it, the relegation play-off against Waterford at Páirc Uí Rinn was a game of huge importance and Cork boss John Meyler was very satisfied to acknowledge that.
The Rebels were full value for their win, despite a Patrick Curran penalty in the first half, as they held the upper hand throughout. The absence of Austin Gleeson through injury did aid their cause, while Maurice Shanahan collected a red card in the second half a minute after his introduction.
Yet the scoreline of 0-21 to 1-13 didn't flatter Cork, who got 10 points from play from Darragh Fitzgibbon, Bill Cooper and Dean Brosnan in the middle third, with Tadhg de Burca's sweeping limiting goal chances for Patrick Horgan and Alan Cadogan.
“I am pleased with the performance, we played six games in the league and we won two and lost four.
”That was a critical one today and it takes us into the Munster championship with a bit of impetus and of course it retains our 1A status."
”That was really the goal. We tried to be competitive over the league, we tried to bring in new players and we have done that.
"Tim O’Mahony, Sean O’Donoghue, Robbie O’Flynn, Darren Browne while Eoin Cadogan has been excellent for us over the league.
“They have added and contributed to the strength of the panel and that is what I am happy about.
"We’d like to be in the semi-final of the league but we are not but we are still in Division 1A after this win."
Meyler was pleased with the performance and of how the players had performed over the duration of the game.
“We led all the way and we were five points up after 10 minutes or so. Bill and Fitzgibbon drove into it in the middle of the field and they really gave us that platform there in the middle and shot over a couple of good points.
“It’s good for us and we had been trying to get that 70-minute performance. We still didn’t get it and you’d like to keep those until the championship in May but we have at least built on that.
“At times against Wexford, Clare and Tipperary we went missing for 10 minutes in the second-half and at half-time, we emphasised that, that we could not go asleep for the first 10 minutes of the second-half.’’
And he acknowledged that a platform had been laid going into the championship.
“It does, and Cahalane and Ellis were missing so please god they’ll be back now and we need to look at the panel and see if we can strengthen it further.
“It gives us options, Tim, Sean O’Donoghue, Eoin Cadogan has been excellent as a character, as a motivator and a leader with the younger fellows and they look up to him and he has been very good with the young fellows."