Ephie Fitzgerald: Result was all that mattered to Cork after Meath test

Rebels were pushed all the way by the Leinster side despite being hot favourites
Ephie Fitzgerald: Result was all that mattered to Cork after Meath test

Cork ladies football manager Ephie Fitzgerald. Picture: INPHO/Bryan Keane

CORK manager Ephie Fitzgerald said he got what he expected from Meath – a tough and physical contest.

The Rebels were pushed all the way by a Meath side that kept everybody behind the ball, defended deep and were hard to break down.

But Ephie said the most important thing was to be going home with the points and drive on now for the Tipperary game.

“The most important thing is the win, we knew coming up they had a great result against Kerry in the league final and then Kerry put Galway to the pin of their collar on Friday night in their opening championship game.

“We knew they are a good team and they have a system that’s very difficult to break down. They get everybody behind the ball and then they attack with pace. There were a lot of frees given against us in the second half that I thought were good tackles and they kept them in the game. They kept tipping over a few scores to keep in touch.

“Then we lost Hannah (Looney) to a sin-binning early in the second half and I’m not sure what that was for really. We also lost Maire (O’Callaghan) and Orla (Finn) to injuries so things like that didn’t go our way.

“But the character of the girls shone through. They have great character and they needed it again there today when those few things went against them.

To hold on to the ball the way they did for the last four minutes or so showed that. But it’s not easy to play against a massed defence like that and they are good at it to be fair to them.

“They are a big, strong physical side and will trouble lots of teams. But to get the two points and a win in our opening game is great and it sets us up nicely now for Tipperary next weekend.

“Again it will be another tough game, especially as we have to travel up there having lost the toss for venue.”

On the injury front, Ephie said: “Maire is hamstring and Orla’s is calf so we will have to wait and see whether they will be fit to face Tipp. As well as that we have Aine O’Sullivan on the way back and Marie Ambrose playing her first game in two years and I thought she was outstanding. So we have been a bit unlucky on the injury front this year but we will just train during the week and prepare for the challenge of Tipp.”

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