CORK manager Pat Ryan feels that the opportunity to take part in next week’s Co-op SuperStores Munster Hurling League final will benefit the players looking to establish spots on the panel.
Tipperary will be the opposition next weekend as Cork look to win the competition for the second time and Ryan is of the view that such a game is more useful than looking to arrange a challenge match.
“We would have had a challenge game lined up for next week and this is a much more competitive game, where you can judge fellas better,” he said.
“Obviously, we’ve a good few fellas involved with us – 38, 40 lads, that kind of way. That’ll have to be cut down during the league, so this gives us a great opportunity to look at players in a game that’s viable.
“I’m delighted with the effort of our fellas outside there – we weren’t playing the full Limerick team or anything like that but I thought they tried fierce hard as well, for a crowd just back from holidays.
Cork finished well, producing a strong finish after falling three points behind Limerick during the second half, and the nature of the fightback pleased Ryan.
“It was a good response,” he said, “and I think the fellas who came on gave us a bit of impetus.
“I’m delighted with that, we’re building on our panel all the time, finding out about a few more new fellas that have come into us.
“There were some good performances there but obviously we’re in pre-season, training heavily, so it’s only one game.”
In the first half, Cork had the better of the play and led by three points on two different occasions but went in leading by just one.
“Yeah, we gave away a cheap enough goal but we were happy enough at half-time,” Ryan said.
“We had a lot of scores, a lot of shots, a couple of wides, but we had held them to limited shots in the first half.
“We needed to up it a small bit in the second half – they came out of the blocks fairly lively and I think the free count was nearly four times against us, which is amazing for a Cork team to be giving away more frees than the opposition!
“I was delighted with the way the lads finished, it’s always nice when there’s a bit of atmosphere towards the end. We got a couple of good hooks, asking fellas to chase lost causes and things like that so we were delighted with that aspect.”