HAINVG trailed by 10 points at half-time – and been fortunate that it wasn’t more – Cork did at least prevent an ugly scoreline on Saturday night.
Half-time changes helped to stem the tide somewhat and, while a full-blown comeback wasn’t ever a prospect, Limerick were not allowed to run rampant. Cork manager Kieran Kingston admitted that the first half was a shock to some players.
“We always knew it was going to be tough coming up here,” he said.
“We were under no illusions, I said it before the game, and you could see that in the first half, I thought our lads were a small bit shell-shocked in some ways.
“We said we’d play with the wind to see if it could ease us into the game a little bit but it didn’t work out that way and we were probably lucky to be only down ten points at half-time, to be realistic about it, even though we missed a couple of goal chances.
“They put huge pressure on our puckout in the first half and got a lot of turnovers and a lot of success from it. We kind of changed that around at half-time and it worked better in the second half. The first half, in particular, they put on a lot of pressure and got a lot of scores out of it. We contributed as well ourselves, with some unforced errors.”
“We regrouped in the second half, brought on more experience. We asked the lads at half-time to see if we could go out to try to win the second half, which they did, and that was pleasing.”
Cork had 11 changes from the side which beat Westmeath, but Kingston pointed out that this wasn’t part of a ‘phony war’ ahead of the championship meeting between the sides and instead down to injuries.
“The other lads are injured and weren’t available. Everybody who was available to our panel was here tonight, people might say we were playing silly buggers or something but we brought everyone tonight who were available.
“The other lads were sitting in the stand, they’re injured.”
If there was a bright spot overall, it was that Cork found the net more often than their opponents for the fourth time in this league campaign, but other chances did go begging.
“I’d have to look back at it but I’d say we created around six tonight,” Kingston said.
“That was good, we could have taken one or two others, but that was good that they kept doing what we’re trying to do.”