Cadogan: The fans were just unreal

Cadogan: The fans were just unreal
Alan Cadogan of Cork celebrates a late score. Picture: Brendan Moran/Sportsfile

THE words of a song come to mind after yesterday as my mama always told me there would be days like this.

And yesterday was certainly one of them for the Rebels, as the minor and senior Munster hurling cups are safely back on Leeside.

It’s been come time, 2006 since Cork last won the minor title and for Denis Ring, it was just reward for a lot of hard work done over the last few years.

It gave the majority of the stadium, and it was nearly all Cork supporters, a great start to their day and by the time the senior side took to the pitch they atmosphere was simply electric.

And the team didn’t let their loyal supporters down, as they came out on top of a magnificent game, thoroughly deserving to win.

Tactically this was always going to be different to their previous meetings with Tipp and Waterford and with Donal Óg Cusack in the Clare backroom there were going to have a greater awareness of the Cork set-up.

But Cork counter-acted that by playing the ball out short at times to the full-back line before then driving it long into the full-forward line, where Alan Cadogan and Pat Horgan caused all sorts of damage.

Luke Meade, in the other corner, withdrew out the pitch as normal, leaving the two inside to create havoc and that they did.

Cadogan was at his best and was the deserving winner of the after Man of the Match award.

Afterwards, he was simply delighted to add another medal to his tally.

“There’s a phenomenal feeling in the dressing-room, what a difference a year makes from our point-of-view (as he referred to the fact it was this weekend a year ago Wexford beat them in the qualifiers).

“It just shows what it means to the Cork public out there as well, the supporters were just unreal for both teams and gave us a massive lift all through.

Cork manager Kieran Kingston and selectors Diarmuid O'Sullivan, Pat Hartnett and Pat Ryan celebrate. Picture: Denis Minihane.
Cork manager Kieran Kingston and selectors Diarmuid O'Sullivan, Pat Hartnett and Pat Ryan celebrate. Picture: Denis Minihane.

“To be fair the ball coming into me was second-to-none and it made my job an awful lot easier for me and the others. The lads out in the middle third put in a huge shift and we couldn’t have asked for a much better supply today.

“It’s great to have another Munster title, the last one being 2014, and this year we just took it one game at a time and focused on ourselves and got the rewards.

“We have a couple of new lads in this year and they play without fear and with a bit of flair and they have made a difference to us.

“But, as I said, the middle third was crucial and we really had to battle hard there to get on top. It was chaotic at times, but thankfully it worked out for us and we move on now from here.

“We always knew that Clare were going to make this a really tough game and even when we went five points up they came back at us. They got a goal and it put only two between us, but we managed to tack on the next few points to keep that bit in front.

“It happened against Tipperary and Waterford in a similar way, but we kept our composure and it just showed the resilience in the bunch of lads in the dressing-room.

“We will enjoy tonight and then get back to training during the week and turn our attentions to the All-Ireland semi-final in a couple of weeks time.

“We don’t know yet who we will be playing, but we will start focusing in on that during the week and get back to it. We won’t be getting too carried away, it’s great to win a Munster, but we will park it during the week and start concentrating on the next game,” concluded Alan.

And, in many ways, that sums up the philosophy of the Cork team this year. It’s all about the next game and nothing else. After they beat Tipp it was all about the semi-final against Waterford and no basking in the glory of beating the All-Ireland champions in their own backyard.

It’s a sign of just how focused this group is, how they never panic in games and go about their job in a clinical manner.

When Tipp, Waterford and Clare yesterday, all came roaring back at them they never panicked. Their belief in what they are doing is there for all to see.

Few would have given them any hope in the Munster championship this year, but they won.

Too many were writing off Cork in the last year or two, we were never as bad as some made out.

But there is something special building again and with a good minor team coming through the future is looking bright on Leeside!

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