Patrick Collins: Strong Cork support will be key on the road

Late block by Cork's number one to deny Séamus Callanan was crucial in ensuring Rebels earned a draw against Tipperary
Patrick Collins: Strong Cork support will be key on the road

Cork goalkeeper Patrick Collins. Picture: Brendan Moran/Sportsfile

IN Saturday evening’s Munster SHC game at Páirc Uí Chaoimh, Cork twice drew level in the second half only for Tipperary to reply with a goal.

With two minutes of normal time left, Brian Hayes netted Cork’s fourth goal to tie matters again but it looked like lightning might strike for a third time as the ball was worked Tipperary sub Séamus Callanan in goalscoring range.

The veteran attacker has raised his share of green flags over the years – as Cork are all too aware – but this time he was denied as Patrick Collins was out quickly to flick the ball away before Callanan could shoot.

Callanan did score a point straight after that but Shane Kingston levelled to ensure Cork came away with a draw. Such an outcome might not have materialised if Callanan had netted, but goalkeeper Collins wasn’t looking for the limelight.

“I suppose it’s just natural instinct and seeing the danger,” he said.

“I saw Damien [Cahalane] coming across and once the handpass went to Séamus Callanan, I had to go, I made a decision and went.

“They’re moments that happen in training anyway, every night you go training you’re kind of taking moments like night and hoping you can carry them into the match, then.

“I was happy enough with it, that’s what I’m there to do really, it’s my job.

“There’s not much time you get, thinking about what happened a minute before, it was about the next ball and going again.”

The comeback means that Cork are unbeaten after two games – Tipp are the only other side to avoid defeat – and Collins was happy to take the draw after trailing for so long.

“I suppose it’s very hard to review it straightaway after it but it was a game where we were happy to come out with a point,” he said.

“We had a few lull moments throughout the game, but overall we’re happy enough. We’ll park it, like we did last week, and move on to two weeks’ time against Clare.

“There’ll be learnings to take from it and we’ll drive on again.

“We started well with the goal and then had a patch where we let them come back into it.

“We went a few points down again in the second half but we showed good character and good lads came off the bench and saw us through.

“Overall, we’re happy enough. We’ll take it, after being five points down in both halves.”

Tipperary manager Liam Cahill, bottom, looks on during the Cork-Tipperary Munster SHC game at Páirc Uí Chaoimh. Picture: David Fitzgerald/Sportsfile
Tipperary manager Liam Cahill, bottom, looks on during the Cork-Tipperary Munster SHC game at Páirc Uí Chaoimh. Picture: David Fitzgerald/Sportsfile

For a goalkeeper, it can be tough when a game is going against his or her team. Puc-kouts offer a chance to provide some influence.

“You’re always seeing options throughout the field, what’s coming up and what’s opening up,” Collins said.

“It’s the in every game, really – no two puck-outs will be the same. It’s just a position that’s unique, you’re scanning the whole time and looking for the best option.

“Whether you’re winning or losing, it’s the same kind of process.”


After two home games, against Waterford and Tipp, Cork are now on the road – away to Clare on Sunday week and up the N20 again the following Sunday to face Limerick.

Collins and the team aren’t dwelling on those factors too much, however – not least because the travelling support should be substantial.

“We’re not thinking about leaderboards or having home games or away games,” he said, “it’s just one game at a time.

“Wherever it’s on, we’ll take it. We’re away to Clare in two weeks’ time, we’ll go into training on Tuesday night and focus on that. It’s all we can do, really.

“Through experience, you kind of hide the noise that comes from the crowd. 

We’d two home games here and a serious Cork crowd, but I’ve no doubt that, for the away games, we’ll still have a serious Cork crowd.

“They’re unbelievable to travel and you could hear it when we got back into the game. They were behind us and there’s no doubt that it’ll be the same in two weeks up in Ennis.”

After two games in the space of seven days, a fortnight’s break to the Clare match might sound like sweet relief, though Collins goes against the grain.

“From a goalkeeper’s perspective, I don’t mind the quick turnaround, though outfield lads might think differently.

“I love it – one game last weekend and straight into another one this weekend. At this time of year, you just want to play games.

“We’ll train hard now this week, with no game next weekend, and we’ll prepare for Clare the following week.”

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