Cork minor boss hails young players for holding off Kerry comeback

Rebels are through to the Munster final, having beaten the Kingdom in the grade for the first time in eight seasons
Cork minor boss hails young players for holding off Kerry comeback

Cork minor football manager Michael O'Brien. Picture: INPHO/Ken Sutton

THE Cork minor footballers meet Limerick in the provincial venue at a neutral venue on Wednesday week after a gritty one-point win over Kerry on Friday night.

The Rebels held on to win 1-15 to 1-14 after leading throughout the lively Munster semi-final in Páirc Uí Chaoimh

Limerick defeated Clare by 3-11 to 0-12 in Ennis, having overcome Tipperary in the first round, to reach their first final since 1998. It’s 65 years since their last title.

Manager Michael O’Brien has his players back training with plenty to work on, but still pleased with a lot he saw in a hectic finish.

“We’ve taken our second step and now we go to step three in hopefully a five-step process,” he said.

Cork's Hugh O'Connor with Kerry's Cian Lynch. Picture: INPHO/Ken Sutton
Cork's Hugh O'Connor with Kerry's Cian Lynch. Picture: INPHO/Ken Sutton

“We’re delight with the win because it was the only thing we wanted to do and it was the only thing that mattered.

I thought we made hard work of it near the end. We were seven points up and should have been able to close it out. It was a lot of learning for everyone really.” 

Kerry missed a great chance from a close-in free near the end and O’Brien admitted he was looking at two more periods of play.

“Of course, we were looking at extra-time and you’d have to feel for the young lad because he took ownership to take it on and it was very unfortunate for him. No doubt, he will come back and have better days.” 

Cork led by seven points at half-time after playing against the strong wind.

“We knew Kerry were going to come back at us and we fell asleep for their goal.

“But, I thought the lads reacted superbly by getting the next four scores and some great scores at that.

“Kerry then went for everything, bringing on some big players from the bench and we started to struggle on our own kick-outs having been very good until then.

“I was very pleased with the work-rate. They never stopped, kept tackling and I thought a few of the frees were questionable."

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