Ephie: This was always going to be a battle

Cork ladies footballers defeat Waterford to advance to the TG4 All-Ireland semi-final
Ephie: This was always going to be a battle

Cork manager Ephie Fitzgerald, on right, with selector Paddy O'Shea during their TG$ All-Ireland senior ladies football championship clash with Waterford at Páirc Ui Chaoimh. Picture: Eddie O'Hare

CORK manager Ephie Fitzgerald, was never in any doubt that his side were going to be in for a tough afternoon against Waterford, but was happy to advance to the All-Ireland semi-final where they will take on Meath.

“We always knew this was going to be a tough challenge. The league match below was a reflection of that and to be fair they were missing the Murray sisters today (Emma and Katie) and they are some of their better players.

“I thought we lacked a bit of composure in the second half , we didn’t put score line pressure on them, had the ball from the throw-in and didn’t score and they came down the pitch and got two points.

“They were very good defensively to be fair to Waterford, they were rigid and then broke with pace. Outside of the pass we gave away I never thought they were much of a goal threat, but you have to be wary of that.

Cork's Orla Finn is tended to by physio Brian Boyle after she went off injured early in the first half.
Cork's Orla Finn is tended to by physio Brian Boyle after she went off injured early in the first half.

“But we finished the game out well and our subs did well when they came on. It was a tough game in many ways, we lost Orla Finn early to injury and we didn’t have Maire O’Callaghan available either.

“We also tried a different shape today and it didn’t really work for us. As a management, we have to look at that and take responsibility for that.

“Again we can’t down the battling qualities of the girls and we finished the game out well. It doesn’t matter how you win at this stage, obviously, we would prefer to be doing it more comfortably without being arrogant but at the same time it was a battling performance and we were going strong at the finish

“We were probably a little over-anxious at times and went for goals at times when we should have kicked points.

“We have Meath now in the semi-final and that doesn’t surprise me as they are a formidable outfit and that’s going to be another tough battle.

“We will let the girls recover now and then start our planning for Meath in two weeks time.

“They are a strong, physical side and I wasn’t a bit surprised when they beat Armagh. They are getting better and better with every game they play.”

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