CORK selector Pat Hartnett wore a broad smile as he emerged from the Cork throng after the final whistle yesterday and with every justification.
“It was a great win, very pleasing from our viewpoint. We missed a few opportunities over the course of the game but happy, very happy.
“We lost our shape a small bit there for a while and they got it back to a few points but we had that ability to be able to respond, especially after they got their goal.
“I think the big thing for us was the generosity of our use of the ball, the manner with which we were able to bring players into it.
“We were happy enough going in at half-time but we knew there was room for improvement and we addressed that during the break.
“I think that we did that and you’d have to be pleased with how things went for us’’.
The former Cork star had special words of praise for the defence and he pointed out the wonderful break made by Damien Cahalane as the clock counted down.
“I thought that the backs played very well, Damien went up there near the end, it was a benchmark moment for us in the game with that burst.
“You would be delighted for the unsung heroes but I would say the most pleasing thing was that we won, we played well and there is room for improvement.’’ Cork now face a lengthy wait before the All -Ireland semi-final but that will be looked at by the management.
“We will look at the schedule, the players will go back to their clubs and that is important too and I also want to acknowledge here the very big contribution that our coach Pat Ryan made and also to Declan O’Sullivan.
“The players had that will to win and they want to win. They were collective and measured in their approach and I thought, as I said, the way we responded after their goal was hugely positive.
“Every guy out there put in the effort. Young Mark Coleman had another great game, scored two great points, Alan Cadogan had a great game for us too and, as I said, it’s great to win and to know there’s room for improvement at the same time.
“Overall, I would say that the composure under pressure was very important for us today and also the willingness to do the right thing.’’.