John Cleary refocuses on tricky Ennis trip after Cork demolish Limerick

Six-goal rout in the Páirc put Rebels on four points in the league but in a tight Division 2, relegation is still a threat
John Cleary refocuses on tricky Ennis trip after Cork demolish Limerick

Cork’s Chris Óg Jones kicked 0-6 against Limerick at Páirc Uí Chaoimh. Picture: INPHO/Evan Treacy

CORK manager John Cleary sensed Limerick’s confidence was brittle going into yesterday’s 24-point rout of the Shannonsiders at Páirc Uí Chaoimh.

The promoted side prop up the Division 2 and were vulnerable to an early onslaught which arrived just on cue, according to Cleary.

“We stressed that beforehand that if we could get in there early and get a few scores, and we got the goals, it would hurt them,” he said.

“We were hurting a bit after last week when we put up a good performance against Dublin and could have won it.

“Lads were chomping at the bit to try and get back here and those goals knocked a bit of confidence out of a Limerick side who hadn’t won a match so far.

“Those four goals in the first half gave us a big cushion and we played with a lot more freedom then and not under pressure. It was one of those days when a lot went right.

Against Dublin, we had seven goal chances and took two. We got most of ours today and ultimately that was the big difference.” 

It was Cork’s first home win of the campaign to leave them on four points with three games remaining in a very competitive section, away to Clare and Louth, and home to in-form Derry, who top the table with fellow unbeaten side, Dublin.

Even though Cork are third in the table they’re still not out of the relegation story, which is turning into a right thriller.

“A lot of people would have expected Dublin to win handy on Saturday night against Clare and very few would have expected Louth to go to Navan and beat Meath.


“The games are even. Clare were fierce unlucky against Dublin, fierce unlucky against Kildare. We could have beaten Dublin. Meath came here and won and lost at home to Louth.

“It is very topsy-turvy. It will go down to the last minute of the last day. All we can focus on is next Sunday above in Ennis.” 

Cork manager John Cleary. Picture: Eóin Noonan/Sportsfile
Cork manager John Cleary. Picture: Eóin Noonan/Sportsfile

The only downside to yesterday’s 6-18 to 0-12 hammering was a lengthening injury list with Brian O’Driscoll only lasting five minutes and captain Brian Hurley not returning for the second half.

“Brian nicked his hamstring and I presume he is gone for next week. Brian Hurley had a bit of a problem with his shoulder, but, if needed, he probably could have played on.

“Cathail O’Mahony (hamstring) is gone for the rest of the league and is probably looking at surgery but it hasn’t been confirmed."

The Mitchelstown forward was been plagued by similar issues in recent years and was a standout performer in the Sigerson Cup for UCC until he limped out of the final win over UL.

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