Cork v Waterford: Donal Óg Cusack and RTE panel full of praise for Cork hurlers

“Huge praise to Cork to come to Walsh Park and get this win and credit to the management they made some big calls and of course the players were outstanding in the manner they stood up to the challenge,” Cusack said.
Cork v Waterford: Donal Óg Cusack and RTE panel full of praise for Cork hurlers

Waterford manager Liam Cahill and Cork boss Kieran Kingston after game at Walsh Park. Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile

THAT old adage 'there is life in the old dog yet' was used by former Cork star goalkeeper Donal Óg Cusack as his pride and relief in his county was clear to see after witnessing them defeat Waterford 2-22 to 1-19 on RTE on Sunday afternoon.

The remaining two RTÉ panellists Anthony Daly of Clare and Micheál O’Donoghue of Galway were also full of praise for the performance of the Rebels who brushed aside the league champions with relative ease.

“Huge praise to Cork to come to Walsh Park and get this win and credit to the management they made some big calls and of course, the players were outstanding in the manner they stood up to the challenge,” Cusack said.

Joanne Cantwell was quick to point out that Cusack was shocked when Patrick Horgan was substituted five minutes into the second half as he was worried what Cork work would do if they needed his free-taking skills coming down the stretch.

“That’s the pressure that goes with the job as the two subs they brought on Tim O’Mahony and Shane Kingston were truly awesome."

The former Galway manager Micheál O’Donoghue cited the introduction of O’Mahony as a key to Cork’s win.

“O’Mahony posed Waterford all sorts of problems and I have to mention the contribution of Shane Kingston who ran himself into the ground for Cork’s cause,” O'Donoughue said.

Séamus Harnedy with supporter Richard Barrett, from Charleville. Picture: Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile
Séamus Harnedy with supporter Richard Barrett, from Charleville. Picture: Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile

Presenter Joanne Cantwell must have been impressed with the term “plenty of life in the old dog" as she asked Donal Ó\g to elaborate on his sentiment.

“People spoke about the physicality of Waterford and whether Cork would match up their intensity but let me point out there is plenty of fight in this Cork squad.

“It has been well documented in recent weeks with the criticism that the Cork players and management received but today they answered all the doubts with a far grittier display that we haven’t seen up to today in this championship.

“You are not handed a Cork jersey if you are not prepared for battle and the work ethic today was a joy to watch and I think Waterford were shocked with the intensity that we had in our locker today.” 

Players that probably underachieved all season stood up to be counted according to Cusack.

We saw the work rate of Seamus Harnedy and players like Mark Coleman and Darragh Fitzgibbon were back to their best and we need a similar show against Tipperary next weekend.

“For me when Fitzgibbon plays the hurling he produced today Cork look a different team and now we have something to build on going forward as this win was a breath of fresh air.” 


                        RTÉ presenter Joanne Cantwell, with analsyts Henry Shefflin, Anthony Daly and Donal Óg Cusack. Picture: Ramsey Cardy/Sportsfile
RTÉ presenter Joanne Cantwell, with analsyts Henry Shefflin, Anthony Daly and Donal Óg Cusack. Picture: Ramsey Cardy/Sportsfile

Man of the Match Seamus Harnedy received many plaudits from the panel, particularly O’Donoghue.

“Seamus led by example from start to finish as he covered every blade of grass and although Cork had many standout players he was certainly the top man.” 

The cameras then went down to pitchside for Harnedy pick up his Bord Gais Man of the Match accolade.

Harnedy said: “I don’t think we ever doubted our ability but we were failing on the small things of the game when you look we gave Clare an 11-point start in Thurles and at this level you cannot afford to do this.

Look I have fierce faith in this group as they are a young bunch and many of them have a lot more accolades than I had playing underage.

“We knew coming down here and all we wanted was a performance that we finally got as every time I step over the line in a Cork jersey I do believe that can put it up against the best but it’s all about getting it right on the day.”

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