Shane Ronayne: League is about finding new Cork players

Defeat in Meath won't worry the Rebel manager as his priority this season is the championship
Shane Ronayne: League is about finding new Cork players

Cork have some All-Star players in the likes of Orla Finn but still need to bolster their squad. Picture: John Quirke

CORK got their Lidl All-Ireland Ladies Football League campaign off to a two-point loss to Meath on Saturday at Páirc Tailteann.

The All-Ireland champions were always going to be a tough challenge for the Rebels, especially in front of a large home crowd. This was their first chance to see the champions in action since that win and with the added attraction of Cork coming to town it probably swelled their numbers even more.

In the end, just two points separated the sides, 1-8 to 2-7, with two goals in quick succession the difference as Meath took the points.

Even though they lost, the new Cork manager Shane Ronayne had plenty to be positive about afterward, especially the display of his defence.

“There are lots of positives to take out of today as we were going a bit into the unknown. We had a couple of challenge games but hadn’t one in a few weeks and we weren’t sure how we would play,” said Ronayne.

“We are very disappointed with our return up front and we didn’t score enough and that’s one thing we have got to improve on. I thought our defending was very good, bar the few minutes when we gave away the two goals,

“One of them was a quick free and sometimes you get away with that, but we didn’t. 

There were a lot of good displays back there, I thought Laura O’Mahony had a great game after coming back from injury. Young Rachel Leahy came on and scored a point and she is only a minor.

“There are loads of players to come back and loads put their hand up today, but I still stand over that if you don’t shoot you are not going to win and I don’t think we took enough shots in the second half when we had the wind.

“We were very happy at half-time having played against the wind having only conceded six points, but it was that small lapse in the second half that cost us.

“We got the goal to go ahead and maybe the heads were thinking we are going to win then and concentration went for a minute or two and we gave away two silly balls and it ended up in the net both times.

“But fair play to Meath they are showing why they are the champions and are kicking on again. We have lots of work to do, but I am quite happy with things. As I said this whole league is about finding players and if we go further than the round-robin stage it’s a bonus.

“We got lots of players on today and we will take our lessons from today and kick on from here. We have another big game again next Saturday against Dublin, but we know now that if we don’t shoot we won’t win games.”

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