John Cleary stays grounded despite Cork footballers' crucial win away to Kildare

After an opening day loss to Meath, the Rebels bounced back to beat Kildare by 13 points
John Cleary stays grounded despite Cork footballers' crucial win away to Kildare

Cork manager John Cleary. Picture: Piaras Ó Mídheach/Sportsfile

CORK took full advantage of a Kildare off-day, according to manager John Cleary after his side’s emphatic 2-14 to 0-7 win in Newbridge on Sunday.

Early and late goals from Sean Powter and substitute Cathail O’Mahony put the gloss on the footballers’ first points in Division 2.

Impressive scoring contributions from captain Brian Hurley, Steven Sherlock and Brian O’Driscoll were central planks of an encouraging victory build on solid defending all over.

“Kildare were off-colour, but you must take advantage at the same time and that’s what happened,” Cleary commented.

It’s a confidence boost ahead of the visit of Dublin to Pairc Ui Chaoimh in a fortnight, but the manager wasn’t getting ahead of himself either.

“I said to the lads that we’re not a bad team after last week and we’re not a super team after this game.


“It’s about getting perspective on it and taking an even keel. We’ll see where we are after seven games in the league.

“We’ll have our ups and downs. We had a down last week, but an up this time. Who knows what the next day will bring?

Cork conceded three goals against Meath, but keeper Micheal Aodh Martin had a clean sheet this time, making a great save near the end, too.

When we looked back on last week, we had a lot of regrets because it was a game we let go really.

“We made three bad mistakes and Meath punished us with goals. The first thing we were intent on today was cutting out those mistakes and not conceding 3-14 again.

“We had the wind from the start and the goal really settled us. I thought we battled hard, harassed them, overturned ball and just put in a good shift.” 

Cork restricted Kildare to just seven points and were disciplined in their tackling. “I thought the referee was a defender’s referee on this occasion.

“If a forward brought the ball into contact at all he was usually penalised, but he was the same for both sides.

“I thought our tackling was very good and we hunted in packs. Crucially, we didn’t give away handy frees because we knew Kildare would put them over all day long.

“It’s pleasing to get the two points, especially after last week, but we know there’s another huge test to come from Dublin,” Cleary concluded.

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